Queen takes aim at Covid vaccine skeptics as she says ‘think of other people’

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The Queen has made a subtle dig at coronavirus vaccine sceptics and urged them to "think about other people rather than themselves".

The head of state, who was given her jab in January, said after having the vaccine you felt "protected".

She was taking part in a video call with health leaders delivering the Covid-19 vaccine.

Asked for feedback about her experience, she chuckled as she said "it was quite harmless" and "didn't hurt at all".

But in a rare moment where she gave a passionate opinion, she suggested people cynical of the jab should think of others.

Dr Emily Lawson, who is leading the vaccine deployment programme for the NHS in England, told the Queen: "We hope everyone who is offered the vaccine will take it up, because it is… all of our best chances to protect both the people who take up the vaccine, their families and their communities."

The monarch then replied: "Once you've had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you're protected, which is I think very important.

"I think the other thing is, that it is obviously difficult for people if they've never had a vaccine…but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves."

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

During the conversation held on Tuesday, the head of state likened the coronavirus to a "plague" that has swept across the globe.

When a health leader said he wanted to "bottle" the community unity he had encountered, the Queen suggested it was like the wartime spirit she experienced.

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The Queen spoke to the four senior responsible officers overseeing the delivery of the vaccine in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to hear about the collaborative effort which has passed the milestone of 18 million people vaccinated in the UK since the call was made.

She praised the vaccine rollout, describing its speed and the millions inoculated as "remarkable" and in a morale boost told the health leaders to "keep up the good work".In an unusual move, Buckingham Palace, which rarely comments on the private health matters of the monarch, announced in January the 94-year-old head of state and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, had been vaccinated.

The Queen decided the information should be made public to prevent inaccuracies and further speculation.

Dr Lawson said they had received lots of feedback and asked the Queen about her experience of being vaccinated.

The head of state chuckled as she replied: "Well, as far as I can make out it was quite harmless. It was very quick, and I've had lots of letters from people who've been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine.

She added: "It didn't hurt at all."

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have both received their vaccinations, with Camilla saying she "leapt for joy" after receiving her Covid jab.

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".

  • NHS
  • Queen
  • Coronavirus

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