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William Shakespeare Received a COVID Vaccine and Everyone’s Got Jokes: ‘The Taming of the Flu’

On Tuesday, the 81-year-old became the second person in Britain to receive a coronavirus vaccine

It’s been a long 2020, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. On Tuesday, the U.K. became the first nation to administer fully vetted and authorized COVID-19 vaccines to its citizens. Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, was the first person to receive the vaccine, while 81-year-old William Shakespeare was the second.

No, obviously we don’t mean that William Shakespeare, but the coincidental name is making headlines and delighting everyone on social media. Many were quick to respond to Tuesday’s news with their own hot takes, with Britain’s National Theatre even getting in on the joke.

According to the New York Times, the 81-year-old Shakespeare was “vaccinated at University Hospital Coventry, in central England, just 20 miles north of where his namesake, the slightly older and more well-known poet and playwright, was born.” The vaccine that Shakespeare and Keenan received was a joint development by Pfizer and BioNTech.

And how does one respond to being lucky enough to receive a coveted COVID vaccine? Shakespeare simply told the Times, “It could make a difference to our lives from now on, couldn’t it?” Spoken like a true playwright.

Meanwhile, the Twitter reactions to Shakespeare’s vaccination were predictably hilarious and mostly literature-related puns, including ones about “the taming of the flu.” See more funny reactions below.