UNITED KINGDOM. London: Queen Elizabeth II, in a video call with U.K. health leaders, urged the public to “think about others rather than themselves” and get the COVID-19 jab.
Her message aimed to encourage those who are still hesitant about getting the vaccine. During the call, she also told people, “it didn’t hurt at all,” while getting the COVID-19 jab.
The 94-year-old monarch and her husband, 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, received their first doses of the vaccine in January.
The Royal Family official Twitter account said, “The Queen has spoken to health officials leading the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine across the four nations of the UK. Her Majesty heard about the vital importance of ensuring all communities have access to the vaccine and shared her own experience.”
“It was quite harmless”
The Queen, who took part in the video meeting from Windsor Castle, was asked about her own experience of getting the jab.
She smiled and replied, “Well, as far as I can make out it was quite harmless. It was very quick, and I have had lots of letters from people who have been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine.”
Her Majesty also stressed that for some people who have never had a vaccine, getting the jab could be a “difficult” experience, but she urged the public to take it when offered.
Queen’s support vital for vaccination program
Dr. Emily Lawson, England Vaccine deployment lead, said that the “Queen’s comments about her vaccine experience were an ‘incredibly important vote of confidence in the program,” BBC News reported.
Award-winning journalist Federico Gatti took to Twitter and said, “In 1956 the Queen made sure the media reported about Prince Charles and Princess Anne getting the polio vaccine. As a result, millions of people followed. 55 years later, she’s still leading the way.”
UK’s vaccination rollout “remarkable”
The Queen was also impressed with the U.K.’s vaccination rollout and said it had been “remarkable” so far.
During her video meeting with the England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland NHS officials, she further added, “You’ll have to keep up the good work. I’m very glad indeed to have had the chance to hear it all.”
In the U.K., more than 18 million people have already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (around one in three adults). Everyone in the top four priority groups, i.e, residents and staff working of care homes, people over 70, frontline care workers, and clinically vulnerable.
The next phase of the vaccination will continue to prioritize people by age, rather than their occupation. Thus, the over-40 are now the next in line to get a COVID-19 vaccine, while everyone aged between 18-29 will be the last group to be offered the COVID-19 jab.