Sir Ian McKellen, star of The Lord of the Rings and X-Men films, has received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday and has taken to Twitter to share his experience in getting this dosage.
Sir Ian McKellen received the shot at the Queen Mary University of London, and received the Pfizer version of the vaccine. On Twitter, McKellen stated, “I would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone.” Since McKellen is 81, that made him one of the first eligible groups for the vaccine. The vaccine is currently being given to people in the UK who are over the age of 80, health care workers, and care home residents.
In a press release, Sir Ian McKellen stated that the vaccine took a few minutes and was done, and stated “I really hope that, as more people get vaccinated, we will move further along the path back to a more normal way of life, particularly for the arts which have suffered so much this year.”
The United Kingdom has been the first Western nation to approve the COVID-19 vaccine, and UK health officials have said they expect there to be up to 4 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of December. The government has so far ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which considering the vaccine requires two doses, would vaccinate 20 million people. While many have already been vaccinated in the UK, Sir Ian McKellen is one of the most famous people to receive the vaccine thus far, which will likely make people more comfortable with receiving the vaccine.
Despite his age, Sir Ian McKellen has consistently worked as an actor since the 1960s. Just last year, McKellen starred in the one-man stage show, Ian McKellen on Stage – With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and You, and appeared in both The Good Liar and Cats.
While Sir Ian McKellen has done Shakespeare on stage and screen, the 2000s turned the actor into a franchise star. In 2000, he appeared as Magneto in X-Men – a part he would play in five films altogether. The next year, he would play Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, a role he would portray in six films, including Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy. In addition to these, McKellen has also starred in 2006’s The Da Vinci Code, 2007’s Stardust, and played Cogsworth in Disney’s 2017 live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
Understandably, Sir Ian McKellen doesn’t have many confirmed projects on the way yet, although the actor has finished Infinitum: Subject Unknown, a sci-fi drama about a woman trapped in an unknown world with endless possibilities that she has to alter in order to escape. While the film doesn’t currently have a release date in the United States, the film is slated to open in the UK on February 22, 2021.
But with Sir Ian McKellen receiving the first of the two-part vaccine, hopefully, it will alleviate some of the worries people have had with receiving the vaccine. By having high-profile people that the world knows, it helps put a favorable face on something people might be concerned about. As McKellen says, he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the vaccine to anyone, so hopefully, this will help normalize the act of receiving the vaccination.