Live coverage has ended, please click here for NBC News' latest coverage of Covid-19On Tuesday, 334 days after the first reported coronavirus death in China, the U.K. became the first country to roll out a clinically approved vaccine.
For many, seeing these shots injected into Britons' shoulder muscles will come as a much-needed morale boost at the end of a hellish year — one that's seen 1.5 million people killed, 65 million others sickened, and countless more subjected to economic hardship.
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William Shakespeare becomes second person to receive approved Covid-19 vaccine
In a turn of events that's already spawned a thousand Twitter puns, the second person to receive the clinically approved Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday was a man named William Shakespeare.
Bill, 81, as he's known to friends, got the shot at a hospital in the English city of Coventry, as the United Kingdom kicks off its largest public vaccination campaign in its history.
For a country recently accused of turning its world-first vaccinations into nationalistic point-scoring opportunities, it was a detail that might have been tossed from a writers' room for being too on-the-nose.
"William Shakespeare" quickly became the number one trending topic on British Twitter, where people responded with wordplays such as "The Taming of the Flu," "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and "a plague on none of your houses."
The U.S. tops 15 million Covid cases, its second million-milestone in December
The United States surpassed 15 million Covid-19 cases Monday only a few days after setting its first million-milestone this month, according to an NBC News tally.
The U.S. recorded 1,789 deaths related to coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total death count close to 285,000 people, according to the tally. The country logged nearly 187,000 new cases of Covid-19 on the same day.
The country also registered more hospitalizations on Monday since the pandemic began, with almost 102,000 people who were hospitalized across the country, according to The Covid Tracking Project.
British woman becomes world's first to receive approved Covid-19 vaccine
A woman in the English city of Coventry has become the first person to get a clinically approved Covid-19 vaccine. Margaret Keenan, 90, received the Pfizer-BioNTech shot Tuesday after the British government became the first to give it regulatory approval last week.
"I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against Covid-19," the grandmother of four, who turns 91 next week, told reporters. "It's the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the new year after being on my own for most of the year."
Keenan's inoculation kicks off what's been described as the largest vaccination campaign ever attempted by Britain's publicly funded National Health Service. The United States Food and Drug Administration is expected to discuss regulatory approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week.