The Queen told health leaders that she had felt “protected” since receiving her first jab and called the speed of the vaccine rollout as “remarkable”.
The Queen has spoken publicly for the first time since receiving her Covid vaccine, saying in a Zoom call: “It didn’t hurt at all.”
Queen Elizabeth endorses Covid vaccine
The Queen told health leaders that she had felt “protected” since receiving her first jab in January, and called the speed of the vaccine rollout as “remarkable”. The Queen was on a video call with the four NHS chiefs in charge of the vaccine rollouts of each country of the United Kingodom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dr Emily Lawson, who is leading the vaccine deployment programme for the NHS in England, said to 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 Queen responded: “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. And the jab was very – it didn’t hurt at all. 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.”
Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen, 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, had been vaccinated in January.
During the call on Tuesday, deputy chief medical officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Naresh Chada, summarised the pandemic telling the Queen: “We know that this is probably the largest and most disruptive pandemic that we face globally, and within the UK, for over 100 years, and now there’ll be a continual battle of the vaccine versus the virus and its mutations but I’ve got absolute faith, both in the medical research community – both here in the UK and globally – that we will keep one step ahead of the virus, and that will definitely lead to better times, for all of us.”
“I think this is…very unusual. I mean it’s a bit like a plague, isn’t it? Because it’s not only here that we’ve got the virus but it’s everywhere, so it’s a strange battle that everybody’s actually fighting,” the Queen replied
The head of the Scottish Government’s Vaccinations Division, Derek Grieve, underlined how residents from the Isle of Benbecula, in the Outer Hebrides, and the Coast Guard, local authority and volunteers had come together to establish a vaccination centre in a community hall in a few days.
He added: “So my lasting reflection ma’am would be if I could bottle this community spirit and use it, not just for the vaccination programme but for other things, I think the job would be done.”
The Queen said: “Wouldn’t it be nice. Well, having lived in the war. It’s very much like that, you know, when everybody had the same idea. And I think this has rather, sort of, inspired that – hasn’t it?”