Mr Shakespeare has been hospitalized in Coventry for several weeks since he suffered a stroke. On the Tuesday after his vaccination, he felt a little frail and took an afternoon nap, according to his niece Emily Shakespeare.
“He’s excited about it,” Ms. Shakespeare said in a telephone interview about her uncle’s first injection. “He really wants to come home.”
Countless families around the world were unable to visit relatives in nursing homes or hospitals during the pandemic, leaving many patients with loneliness, atrophy, and depression. Others died alone, and families never had to say goodbye.
The vaccination of Mr Shakespeare brought some heartwarming news to the people of Britain and his families. “He’s tired of being in the hospital,” said Ms. Shakespeare, “but today I just want to say that I’m proud that he shows the way.”
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock seemed to shed several tears as he praised Mr. Shakespeare and the other Brits who lined up for vaccination during this indescribably difficult year. More than 60,000 people have died in the pandemic in the UK.
May Parsons, a hospital nurse who administered the dose to Mr Shakespeare, said the injections were a first step in making people feel normal. “This is really important for me to know that you are safe, that you will be protected,” Ms. Parsons told Sky News.
Despite all the jokes about Mr. Shakespeare’s name, his relatives were quick to remind everyone that there was much more at stake than the ephemeral fame of “their” William Shakespeare.
“He would like to see his wife, children and grandchildren who cannot visit him at the moment,” Ms. Shakespeare said of her uncle. “But the pouring of attention will certainly give it a boost.”