On Thursday, a 90-year-old Margaret Keenan from Britain became the first person in the world to receive a COVID-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial. However, it was the second person to be given the jab that grabbed people's attention.
Social media was abuzz with talks of William Shakespeare, the famous playwright and poet, after his 81-year-old namesake became the second person on Earth to have the vaccine administered.
The vaccine in question is the one manufactured by the collaborative duo of American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNtech. It became the first COVID-19 inoculation to be approved by a country after the UK granted emergency use authorisation for the jab. Keenan and Shakespeare received the first of 800,000 doses that are to be administered across the country in coming weeks.
The vaccine is meant to be given in two injections, 21 days apart, with the second dose being a booster. The immunity levels begin to amplify after the first dose, but only hits their peak seven days post the administration of the second dose.
Interestingly, William Shakespeare of the COVID-19 pandemic era also hails from Warwickshire - where the famous writer was born and raised.
This development provided catharsis to the anxieties regarding vaccine availability, and people took to Twitter to celebrate the achievement in a humorous manner.
Tiernan Douieb, a British comedian, tweeted that from what he had heard, it was actually Christopher Marlowe who had been administered with the vaccine instead, in a reference to the conspiracy theory that Shakespeare stole writing credits from Marlowe.
Actually I heard the second person to get the vaccine was Christopher Marlowe but William Shakespeare took all the credit.— Tiernan Douieb (@TiernanDouieb) December 8, 2020
Ironically mentioning Shakespeare's play 'Much ado about nothing', a tweet highlighted that the news item is more of a gimmick.
People are making a big thing about the second man to receive the Covid-19 vaccine being called William Shakespeare, but I think it’s much ado about nothing.— Amanda (@Pandamoanimum) December 8, 2020
An important update with respect to pandemic management was made more wholesome by this community engagement on social media. All's well that ends well.