William Shakespeare, the second person in the world to get the Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 vaccine jab died due to an unrelated illness. The 81-year-old had made global headlines on December 8 after received his first Covid vaccine in December at University Hospital Coventry after 90-year-old British grandmother Margaret Keenan, the first person to receive a vaccine shot out of clinical trials.
Reporters were quick to note that Coventry is located 20 miles from Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of his namesake, England’s greatest dramatist and poet. Shakespeare, a former Rolls Royce employee and parish councillor, died at the same hospital — University Hospital Coventry- after a prolonged illness, the Daily Mail reported.
Coventry councillor Jayne Innes, and a friend of Shakespeare in a Facebook post on Monday said: “Bill will be remembered for many things, including a taste for mischief," and added the “best tribute to Bill is to have the jab".
Shakespeare who was an inpatient on the hospital’s frailty ward at the time of his first jab had said he was “pleased" to be given the jab and the hospital staff had been “wonderful."
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The Allesley resident had been a parish councillor for 30 years, of which he was chairman of the parish council for 20 years. In addition, he had served as a governor at Allesley Primary and Coundon Court schools and was proud to be from Coventry, said Innes.
West Midlands Labour group, in a tweet said: “Bill made global headlines as the first man to have Covid vaccine. His decades of service to the party were recently recognised by Keir Starmer."
We're sorry to hear of the death of Coventry Labour stalwart Bill Shakespeare. Bill made global headlines as 1st first man to have Covid vaccine. His decades of service to the party were recently recognised by @Keir_Starmer. Our thoughts are with Joy and Bill's family & friends. pic.twitter.com/ANCTeGFYEs— West Midlands Labour (@WMLabour) May 24, 2021
He leaves behind his wife Joy, their two adult sons and grandchildren.