LONDON (AP) – Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the shot is fast, harmless and will help protect others from the disease.
In a video call with officials responsible for getting the vaccine, the 94-year-old monarch compared the efforts of the UK National Vaccine Campaign to the joint work of people during World War II.
“Well, after you feel the vaccine, you know you are protected, which I think is very important,” the queen said in a tape of a bell broadcast on Friday. “And as far as I can tell, it was very harmless, very fast. “And I’ve had a lot of letters from people who were very surprised at how easy it was to get the vaccine.”
The Queen emphasized the fact that the vaccine helps protect everyone, not just the person receiving the shot.
“Obviously it is difficult for people if they have never had a vaccine, because they have to think about other people, not themselves,” he said.
Some 18 million people in the UK have been vaccinated, but concerns remain that some of the most at-risk groups, such as blacks, Asians, as well as members of other minority groups, are hesitant to get their shots.
Although the Queen had previously announced her vaccination, during a video call with health officials on Tuesday, her comments would give rise to more people who may be hesitant, possibly convincing given Elizabeth’s huge name.
French President Emmanuel Macron last month questioned the effectiveness of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Britain, citing a lack of data on its effectiveness in the elderly. Macron then said that European health authorities had guaranteed that the vaccine was “safe”, “effective”.
The queen and her husband, 99-year-old Prince Philip, received their first dose of the vaccine last month. In an unusual move, the chamber made the information known to prevent speculation about their health.
A call to health officials this week showed that the Queen was continuing her duties, even as Philip was resting in the hospital of King Edward VII, which royal officials called a precautionary measure. Buckingham Palace announced on Tuesday that he was being treated for an infection.
During the speech, the Queen described COVID-19 as a “plague” that has spread around the world. He urged vaccination leaders to “keep up the good work.”
He compared the community spirit of vaccinations to the experience of the country during World War II.
Derek Greve, who heads the Scottish Government’s immunizations department, gave an example of how the Hebride Islands off the island of Bebekula came together with the Coast Guard to set up a vaccination center in the community hall.
“So my reflection, madam, would be if I could bottle this community spirit, use it not only for the vaccination program, but for other things, I think the job would be done.” he said.
The queen said. “Won’t it be good?”