Published: Sat, February 27, 2021
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Queen Elizabeth encourages everyone to take the COVID-19 vaccine

Queen Elizabeth encourages everyone to take the COVID-19 vaccine

The 94-year-old Queen delivered an unusual call-to-arms on Thursday, insisting that her own jab "didn't hurt at all" and made her "feel protected".

The royal family has taken an increasingly prominent role in publicising the vaccination campaign, returning to public engagements for the first time this year in order to visit vaccination hubs and speak to NHS staff and volunteers.

The 94-year-old is mourning the deaths of her close friend Lord Samuel Vestey and first cousin Lady Mary Colman and is likely to be anxious for her husband Prince Philip, who has been in hospital for nine days, fighting an infection.

She said: "It has been very interesting hearing all about that".

Addressing some concerns about the uptake of vaccines and reluctance among certain groups, the monarch added: "I think the other thing is, that it is obviously hard for people if they've never had a vaccine".

She added: "I think it is remarkable how quickly the whole thing has been done and so many people have had the vaccine already".

Speaking to Sky, the Earl of Wessex said: "As far as I'm aware, well I did speak to them the other day, so he's a lot better thank you very much indeed".

Despite her husband being in hospital for more than a week, the Queen was all smiles when talking with health officials and was willing to recount her experience of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Queen spoke with the four Senior Responsible Officers (SROs) overseeing the delivery of the vaccine in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to hear about the collaborative effort which has led to more than 18 million people across the United Kingdom getting their first dose of a vaccine.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have both received their first doses of the vaccine, with Camilla saying she "leapt for joy" after getting her jab.

Just 72% of people within those communities said they would definitely have the vaccine.

The Duke of Cambridge, who like his father Charles contracted Covid, said on Monday he would be at the "front of the queue" for a vaccine to prove it is OK - but will "wait my turn".

It's very unusual for the Queen to be quite so direct and suggests she has concerns about the potential impact on communities if significant numbers of people don't the vaccine.

"And I think this has rather, sort of, inspired that - hasn't it?"

She spoke about the coronavirus as being "a bit like a plague" and that "it is a unusual battle that everybody is fighting".

"Wouldn't it be nice!" the Queen joked. "And I think this has rather, sort of, inspired that - hasn't it?"

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