Coronavirus: First UK patients, including man named William Shakespeare, get Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

LONDON — The United Kingdom on Tuesday became the first country to give doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech to its citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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According to The Associated Press, Margaret Keenan, 90, was the first person to receive the shot Tuesday, less than a week after UK officials approved the vaccine for emergency use.

“I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19,” Keenan said at University Hospital Coventry, according to the AP.

She added that she is looking “forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,” the news agency reported.

The second patient to get the vaccine – 81-year-old William “Bill” Shakespeare – quickly went viral for sharing a name with the legendary playwright, according to the AP.

Hospitalized patients or outpatients over 80 years old with pre-existing appointments, along with nursing home employees, will receive the first 800,000 doses of the vaccine in the UK, the AP reported. Anyone who receives the shot will need to get a second dose of the vaccine in a few weeks, according to the BBC.

Pfizer and BioNTech formally asked the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 20 to allow the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the AP previously reported. An FDA committee is scheduled to meet Thursday to review the request.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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