The NHS said in a press release in England that the 81-year-old McKellen had formed one of the first “eligible groups” for the vaccine to be used by people over the age of 80, health workers and carers.
The vaccination program is now in its second week, NHS England added, describing it as “the biggest breakthrough since the start of the pandemic and could save the lives of tens of thousands”.
Earlier this month, the UK became the first Western country to authorize the Covid-19 vaccine after regulators granted emergency approval for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
After receiving the jab, McKellen quotes in a press release, “I feel very honored to have received the Covid-19 vaccine and I would ask everyone who is offered the vaccine to take up the offer – it took a few minutes and it was done.
“I really hope that as many people as possible get vaccinated, we will continue on the path to a more normal lifestyle, especially for the arts that have suffered so much this year.
“We all have a role to play in the fight against the coronavirus, and what we have to do and the vaccination has taken lives.
The vaccine is given in two doses, at least 21 days apart. It works by “teaching the immune system how to defend itself against attacks,” NHS England said.
Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS’s director of primary care in England, said: “The NHS has made an excellent start to introducing the Covid-19 vaccine across the country, with dozens of hospitals and hundreds of local vaccination services offering the vaccine to those who need it most.”