Prince Charles, wife Camilla get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine


Team Udayavani, Feb 10, 2021, 5:02 PM IST

London: Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have received their first of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the royal couple’s Clarence House office said on Wednesday.

Charles, 72, and Camilla, 73, fall within the over-70 priority group identified by the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as the most vulnerable to serious illness from the coronavirus.

Clarence House did not say which particular vaccine the couple received but they are likely to have received either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs, which are currently being administered across the UK by the National Health Service (NHS).

Charles, the heir to the British throne, had tested positive for COVID-19 at the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020 and went into self-isolation with mild symptoms at his Scotland home Balmoral Castle.

It later emerged that his son, Prince William, had also tested positive for COVID-19 in April 2020 but kept it under wraps to avoid causing a “worry”.

The royal couple’s vaccination follows reports last month that Queen Elizabeth II, 94, and husband Prince Philip, 99, had received their jabs by the royal household doctor.

The monarch has been based at Windsor Castle in south-east England for the course of the pandemic since last year, with all royal events at Buckingham Palace being curtailed due to lockdown.

NHS figures show that over 12 million people in Britain have now been vaccinated against the deadly virus as part of a widespread programme aimed at covering all over-70s and vulnerable groups by next Monday.

British celebrities singer Sir Elton John and actor Sir Michael Caine have been drafted in for a new video to encourage people to get vaccinated to counter reports of some hesitancy about the jabs, especially among the country”s ethnic minority groups.

“The more people in society who get vaccinated, the more chance there is of eradicating the national COVID-19 pandemic. It’s really important to know that the vaccines have all been through and met the necessary safety and quality standards,” said 73-year-old Elton John, the award-winning singer behind hits such as ‘Rocketman’ and ‘Candle in the Wind’.

In the comic video, the singer is seen “auditioning” for an advert promoting the jab and then pretends to get the jab before bursting into his 1983 hit ‘I’m Still Standing’.

The unimpressed “director” in the film tells him “thanks Elton, we will let you know” to which he replies: “Well at this short notice you won’t find anyone bigger”.

The film then cuts to Caine, the 87-year-old English actor behind hit films such as ‘The Italian Job’ and ”Alfie”, who says that the vaccine “didn’t hurt”, adding his famous catch phrase: “Not many people know that”.

“We’re grateful to Sir Elton and Sir Michael for helping the NHS promote vaccine uptake, building on the fast and efficient programme to date, which has seen the NHS already vaccinate one in four adults across England,” said Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS.

The NHS says it is now delivering Covid vaccinations at more than 1,500 sites across the country and is on track to have offered a jab to everyone in the top four highest priority groups by the middle of this month.

Most people need to wait to be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn to receive it. However, people aged 70 or over who have not yet been vaccinated can now arrange a vaccination through a national booking service to ensure no one is missed out.

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