Lord of the Rings and X-Men star Ian McKellen has revealed that he’s received the COVID-19 vaccine. The 81-year-old actor shared the news with his followers today on his Twitter page, along with a link to an article on the full story. “I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine,” he wrote. “I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.”
While speaking to ITV News, the Hollywood legend, best known for playing Gandalf and Magneto, two iconic cinematic characters, said: “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.” McKellen went on to praise the organization, which he remembers first coming into being in the 1940s.
“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,” he continued.
I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. https://t.co/gBLRR0OeJc
— Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) December 17, 2020
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is being pioneered in the UK, with the first person in the world to get the inoculation – 91-year-old Margaret Keenan – receiving it on December 8th. Thousands have already been administered, of course, with four million vaccinations expected to have been dished out by the end of the month. As with all those who’ve got it, McKellen is due for a second dose of the vaccine in three weeks’ time.
Other British famous faces who’ve been among the first to receive it include The Great British Bake-Off host Prue Leith and TV personality Michael Whitehall. McKellen had his initial injection at the Queen Mary University of London in east London and to anyone who might be reluctant to get the jab, the two-time Academy Award nominee had this to say:
“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?”
Ian McKellen, who was last seen in 2019’s Cats, is next set to star in modern day Shakespeare adaptation Hamlet Revenant and British sci-fi movie Infinitum: Subject Unknown. Of course, there’s been hope amongst the fanbase that he might pop up in Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show as well, but at this stage, that seems unlikely.