On Wednesday, January 14th, Willie Nelson pulled into a drive-up vaccination site so that he can finally get back on the road again. Within minutes, the Red Headed Stranger had received his first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Family Hospital Systems shared the news in a Facebook post, and it was later confirmed by Nelson’s wife Annie to Rolling Stone. The 87-year-old icon drove from his ranch in Spicewood, Texas, to a nearby clinic in Cedar Park. “We’re lucky,” Annie said. “We made sure that [he] wasn’t cutting anybody — in fact, the healthcare workers were kind of angry that we had waited so long, because he is 87 years old and has COPD.”
Like other inoculations, the Moderna vaccine requires a booster shot. Nelson will have to return 28 days later for the second dose, and even then it will be a few weeks before his body develops immunity. But according to Annie, the Nelson family found the process to be fairly easy. “We drove up…and we just gave them our arm, they gave us the shot, you get a card. And you get a next appointment. Then you register with the CDC. They need to ask you questions, and we’re all in on helping, so that’s what we did. We want the most information people can get.”
So far, the singer is doing well. “He was bragging yesterday after he got it that he didn’t even have a sore arm,” she said. “Now, today, of course his arm is sore. We’re both just a little tired. I don’t know if we wouldn’t be tired anyway, but we’re gonna do what they said and let the vaccine do its job.”
With this out of the way, Nelson is already looking forward to his next tour. Annie explained, “It’ll probably be late August, September before things can get back to normal, and that’s if everybody gets the vaccination, so we can get some kind of herd immunity. [Willie] said, ‘Right now, it’s basically turd immunity.’” What a legend.
Next up, Nelson is going to release the Frank Sinatra-inspired album That’s Life on February 26th. It follows last year’s First Rose of Spring, which was his 70th (!) album. Last year, former President Jimmy Carter confirmed that Nelson once smoked out his son on the White House roof.