William Shakespere Receives the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

William Shakespere, 81, is the second person to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Source: Jacob King/AP
  • Last week, the U.K. became the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine
  • This morning, Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
  • U.K.’s mass vaccination program is currently only for frontline workers and those over 80 years of age

The U.K. has become the first country to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to its people, with Margaret Keenan receiving the first-ever dose. The almost 91-year-old received the dose Tuesday morning at 6:31 am local time, at the University Hospital in Coventry. 81-year-old William Shakespere is the second person to have received the vaccine. Both of them belong to the group of 4 million people expected to receive the vaccine in the country’s first wave of vaccination. 

I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year.

Margaret Keenan

May Parsons Administers First Dose of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

The U.K. kickstarted its biggest mass vaccination program with NHS nurse, May Parsons administering the first-ever dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine requires two doses, given three to four weeks apart. Currently, it is available only by invitation for outpatients at hospitals aged 80 and above, care home providers, and front-line workers. Vaccinated individuals will receive vaccination documents including details for their next appointment. 

Margaret Keenan is the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Margaret Keenan receiving the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine
Source: NHS

Results from Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trials had shown a vaccine efficacy of 95%. Moreover, the researchers did not report any adverse outcomes in any of the volunteers. The common side effects of the vaccine include pain at the injection site, fever, headache, and joint pain. 

Today is just the first step in the largest vaccination program this country has ever seen. It will take some months to complete the work as more vaccine supplies become available and until then we must not drop our guard

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive 

The Long Road Ahead

The first wave of vaccinations will take place in hospitals. Furthermore, the government plans to open 50 vaccination hubs in hospitals across the country. However, the National Health Service (NHS) believes such a momentous task will likely require setting up vaccination centers at community locations. 

Although the U.K. has placed an order of 40 million doses, only 800,000 will likely become available for the first wave of vaccination. Another 4 million doses should arrive by the end of the month. 

However, the vaccine does not come without logistical challenges. The fact that the vaccine is stored at -70 degrees Celsius temperatures means it will require an ultra-cold storage facility. One that is not easily available outside of a lab or hospital setting. Therefore, creating a hurdle in getting the vaccines to elderly care homes or small clinics in local communities. 


NHS. (2020, November 08). Landmark moment as first NHS patient receives COVID-19 vaccination. Retrieved December 08, 2020, from https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/12/landmark-moment-as-first-nhs-patient-receives-covid-19-vaccination/


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here