The first man in the world to receive a clinically approved Covid-19 vaccine has died of an unrelated illness, British officials said.
The 81-year-old Englishman, named William Shakespeare, was the first man and second person to get a Pfizer jab after Britain approved the experimental shots in early December.
The first person was 90-year-old British grandmother Margaret Keenan.
Shakespeare died Thursday, but the cause of death was not immediately known, according to the BBC.
The Coventry resident had reportedly worked at Rolls-Royce and served as a parish councillor for many years in the city’s Allesley community.
He made international headlines after getting inoculated at University Hospital Coventry, a major milestone in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Shakespeare, who had lived in Brownshill Green, was an inpatient on the hospital’s frailty ward at the time of his first jab, and said it had been “wonderful”.
His name helped draw even more attention – and jokes – to that special moment.
Some on social media referred to the scene as “The Taming of the Flu”, a reference to playwright William Shakespeare’s 16th-century work, The Taming of the Shrew.
In a tribute, his wife, Joy, said: “Bill was so grateful for being offered the opportunity to become one of the first people in the world to be given the vaccine.
“It was something he was hugely proud of – he loved seeing the media coverage and the positive difference he was able to make to the lives of so many.
“He often talked to people about it and would always encourage everyone to get their vaccine whenever he could.”
As well as his wife of 53 years, Mr Shakespeare leaves their two adult sons and grandchildren