10 Jan 2021

Covid-19: Queen and Prince Philip receive vaccinations

8:03 am on 10 January 2021

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have received Covid-19 vaccinations, Buckingham Palace has said.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are pictured after greeting Spanish King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia (unseen) at Buckingham Palace in central London on July 14, 2017,

Photo: AFP

A royal source said the vaccinations were administered on Saturday by a household doctor at Windsor Castle.

The source added the Queen decided to let it be known she had the vaccination to prevent further speculation.

The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are among around 1.5 million people in the UK to have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine so far.

People aged over 80 in the UK are among the high-priority groups who are being given the vaccine first.

The couple have been spending the lockdown in England at their Windsor Castle home after deciding to have a quiet Christmas at their Berkshire residence, instead of the traditional royal family gathering at Sandringham.

Last month, the Queen appeared alongside several other senior members of the royal family for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

In 2020 she went seven months - between March and October - without carrying out public engagements outside of a royal residence.

During that time, her eldest child, Prince Charles, 72, contracted coronavirus and displayed mild symptoms.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L), Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (C) and Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales attend the wedding ceremony of Britain's Princess Eugenie of York (C) and Jack Brooksbank at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on October 12, 2018.

The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles. Photo: AFP

Palace sources also told the BBC that her grandson Prince William tested positive in April - although Kensington Palace refused to comment officially.

The Queen used her Christmas Day message to reassure anyone struggling without friends and family this year that they "are not alone".

She said the pandemic had "brought us closer" despite causing hardship, adding that the Royal Family has been "inspired" by people volunteering in their communities.

On Friday a third coronavirus vaccine - made by US company Moderna - was approved for use in the UK, joining the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines already approved by UK regulators.

It is not known which vaccine the Queen and Prince Philip have received.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the aim is to vaccinate 15 million people in the UK by mid-February, including care home residents and staff, frontline NHS staff, everyone over 70 and those who have been categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Pope to be vaccinated

Pope Francis said he planned to have a Covid-19 vaccination as early as next week and urged everyone to get a shot, to protect not only their own lives but those of everyone else.

"I believe that ethically everyone should take the vaccine," the Pope said in an interview with TV station Canale 5. "It is an ethical choice because you are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others."

The Vatican City, the smallest independent county in the world, has said it will shortly launch its own vaccination campaign against the coronavirus.

"Next week," the Pope said, "we will start doing it here, in the Vatican, and I have booked myself in. It must be done."

-BBC / Reuters

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