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The Times newspaper reported that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip may “let it be known” once they have received a vaccine against COVID-19, citing unnamed royal aides.
The 94-year-old monarch and her 99-year-old wife are likely to be among the first to be offered a jab, with the government giving priority to elderly people as the Pfizer vaccine that was approved on December 2 begins to be rolled out.
In British society, the queen is highly admired, and her public support for the vaccine would be a powerful message to counter the circulation of anti-vaccination misinformation online.
In the United Kingdom, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 60,000 people and infected more than 1.7 million.
The royal family has not been untouched, with both Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and Prince William, his eldest son, testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the year.
The first doses are intended to be given to elderly care home residents and their carers under the government’s priority list for the vaccine roll-out, followed by people over 80 and health service staff.
In 1957, the Queen announced that Charles and his sister, Princess Anne, then 8 and 6, had been inoculated against polio, The Times said, helping to ease concerns about possible side effects of what was then a new vaccine.