William Shakespeare, among first vaccine recipients, dies of unrelated illness at 81

William Shakespeare, who was among the first to receive the coronavirus vaccine, died of an unrelated illness at the age of 81.

Shakespeare left behind his wife of 53 years, Joy, along with two sons and grandchildren after he had a stroke, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said, the BBC reported.

Those in his life spoke about the pride he had in being among the first to get the coronavirus vaccine.

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Bill was so grateful for being offered the opportunity to become one of the first people in the world to be given the vaccine,” his wife said, according to the BBC.

"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,” she added.

Since Shakespeare’s jab in December, millions of people across the world have received the vaccine and allowed many places to lift their coronavirus restrictions and begin the process of returning to life before the pandemic.

Coventry councilor Jayne Innes, who was a friend of Shakespeare, said the "best tribute to Bill is to have the jab,” according to the BBC.

Shakespeare was the second person to receive the shot after Margaret Keenan.