The first man to get Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine out of trials in England was called William Shakespeare.
The UK approved the vaccine last week, and begun inoculating vulnerable people in the Midland county Warwickshire on Tuesday.
Shakespeare, 81, and his literary namesake were both born in the county, and the internet wasted no time cracking jokes.
Adaptions of the titles of Shakespeare’s plays were popular, including “The Taming of the Flu” and “The Two Gentlemen of Corona.”
One of the first people injected with Pfizer and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine outside trials in England was called William Shakespeare.
The UK became the first country to approve the vaccine on Wednesday last week, and began administering it to vulnerable people on Tuesday morning.
The first recipient was Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, who was injected at 6:31 a.m. local time at University Hospital in Coventry, Warwickshire.
Moments later, 81-year-old William Shakespeare became the first man to be inoculated, the BBC said.
Shakespeare, who like the 16th century bard, grew up in Warwickshire, said he was “pleased” and praised the staff at the hospital, which is just 20 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the famous playwright and poet.
The irony was not lost on the internet, which seized on the coincidence.
One popular comment described the moment as “The Taming of the Flu” – a play on the title of Shakespeare’s comedy “The Taming of the Shrew.”
Another described 81-year-old Shakespeare as one of “The Two Gentlemen of Corona.”
Another popular joke pondered that if Keenan, the first to get the jab, was patient 1A, then did that make Shakespeare “Patient 2B or not 2B?”
Some jokes went even deeper into literary history.
“Actually I heard the second person to get the vaccine was Christopher Marlowe but William Shakespeare took all the credit,” wrote Twitter user Tiernan Douieb, referring to the theory that some of Shakespeare’s plays were written by his contemporaries.
One joke even spanned literary history and modern medicine.
“Exit, pursued by Bayer,” read the comment, combining the famous stage direction from “The Winter’s Tale” with the German pharma giant.
The UK had preordered around 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is administrated in two separate shots.
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