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Sir Ian McKellen Receives Covid-19 Vaccine: ‘I Feel Very Lucky’

“Anyone who has lived as long as I have is alive because they have had previous vaccinations”

Actor Sir Ian McKellen poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of 'The Good Liar' at a central London hotel, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP Images

Sir Ian McKellen was among the first wave of people to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine in the U.K., with the 81-year-old actor stating: “I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.”

In subsequent interviews after receiving the first of two doses, McKellen attempted to ease public concern about the vaccines. “Anyone who has lived as long as I have is alive because they have had previous vaccinations,” the actor said. “I would encourage everybody to do the sensible thing, not just for themselves but for everybody else because if you’re virus-free that helps everybody else, doesn’t it?”

The actor also praised the country’s National Health Service, telling ITV: “That’s the real bonus of all this, to watch and see what works in this country and what doesn’t work — and it seems to me the NHS is right at the top of the list for institutions that do work. Of course, I know I wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the NHS. I’m a little bit older than the NHS but when I was a kid, having good medical treatment available when it was needed — what a wonderful notion.”

McKellen was among a group of octogenarian celebrities in the U.K. to receive the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, including Great British Bake-Off judge Prue Leith and singer Marty Wilde.