The 81-year-old British actor who acted as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, Sir Ian McKellen, has received COVID-19 shots on Wednesday. The celebrated actor in the X-Men movies received the vaccine at the Queen Mary University of London, in east London.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), McKellen was eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine because he was above the age of 80. The state-run NHS prescribed that people who are eligible to first receive the vaccines in England are people above the age of 80, healthcare workers, and care home residents.
The UK was the first Western country to approve the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech following emergency authorization by regulatory agencies in the United States. The vaccination took off in the UK last week, and it is still in its second week of administration with up to 140,000 already inoculated.
McKellen said he was lucky to be among the first recipients of the vaccine and that it took only a few minutes. He said he was euphoric after taking it and that everyone in the country should get a shot since it will save lives. Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated lives and businesses, McKellen said the entertainment industry had suffered particularly in the pandemic and that getting vaccinated will get everything back to normal in due course.
“I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone,” Gandalf stated. “I feel honored to have received the COVID-19 vaccine and I would urge anyone who is offered the vaccine to take up the offer – it took a few minutes, and then it was done. We all have a part to play in the fight against coronavirus and doing our bit and getting vaccinated will save lives.”
The NHS disclosed that the coronavirus vaccine will be administered in two doses – the second dose will be administered 21 days after the first dose is administered. According to the NHS, the vaccine works by training and empowering the body’s immune system to fight for itself in the face of virus invasion and attacks.
NHS England medical director for primary care, Dr. Nikki Kanani, said the vaccination program is progressing fine across the country and that the vaccines have been delivered to hundreds of hospitals and vaccination centers to reach local citizens.
Prue Leith, 80, host of the popular TV show “The Great British Bake Off” has also received the coronavirus vaccine and published a photo of herself getting vaccinated online.