Ian McKellen, 81, feels 'very lucky' to get the COVID-19 vaccine

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Ian McKellen feels “very lucky” to be among the early ones to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The British actor, 81, had his first round of the Pfizer vaccination in London — giving a thumbs-up while getting the jab — and thanked the United Kingdom’s National Health Service for making it possible.

“It’s a very special day, I feel euphoric,” he said, according to NHS London. (He posted a similar tweet.) “I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine.”

In an interview with ITV, McKellen 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?”

And of the actual shot, which he’ll get a part two of 21 days after the first, he said, “It is invasive of course, it looks like a weapon — a needle — but it isn't, it's a friend.”

McKellen also said he wanted to give everyone at the NHS “a big hug” but he would wait until he had both doses — and waited the appropriate time after that.

“Next time I come, well, no, six days after I next come, I’m going to give them all a big hug,” he said. “is that allowed? I don’t know." (Until the vaccine is widely distributed and herd immunity is reached, experts say people should continue following pandemic protocol.)

The Academy Award nominee participated in an online benefit to raise funds for the charity Acting for Others in November and talked about how he’s taken up painting in quarantine.

“I’m looking forward to the time quite soon after the vaccine when I can go out and sit across the road at my easel and paint my house from the outside,” he said.

Sir Ian McKellen gives a thumbs up after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Sir Ian McKellen gives a thumbs up after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo: NHSEnglandLDN via Twitter)

The first vaccines were given in the U.S. this week, marking a major milestone in a pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 Americans. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to get the vaccine “publicly” on Friday. President-elect Biden is expected to get his next week.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.

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