Queen to reportedly receive Covid-19 vaccine within weeks
The Queen will reportedly receive the Covid-19 vaccine within weeks and make it public afterwards.
Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the story in The Mail On Sunday which suggests that a public announcement would encourage more people to get the jab.
The head of the UK’s medicines regulator said the goal of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, is “to protect every member of the population, Her Majesty of course, as well”.
When asked about reports that the Queen, 94, and Duke of Edinburgh, 99, would have the jab within weeks and make it public, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “Medical decisions are personal and this is not something we will comment on.”
Vaccinations will be administered at dozens of hospital hubs from Tuesday, with people aged 80 and over, care home workers and NHS workers who are at higher risk the first to receive the jab.
Due to their age, the Queen and Prince Philip would be considered a priority for the vaccine.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA was asked how she had coped with becoming a “global figure” and about reports that the Queen will have the jab within weeks.
She told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “I’m proud, I’m honoured.
“I think that news that you’ve just given us is humbling, and it’s everything that we’re here to do at the MHRA.
“We’re a public health organisation, we work as full partners, if I can say, in the public health family, and our goal is totally to protect every member of the population, Her Majesty of course, as well.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice has said it will be a “personal decision” for the Queen whether she takes the vaccine.
Asked on Times Radio if he would like to see the monarch take the vaccine and then announce publicly that she had done so, Mr Eustice said: “It will be a personal decision for the Queen, as it is for everyone.
“But it is very important that we try to make sure that people are reassured about this vaccine.
“It has been rigorously tested, it’s been through a very rigorous authorisation process and it is safe.
“It is very important that we get those vulnerable groups, some of the older population, those over the age of 80, to take the vaccine early.”
The Queen and her husband spent much of the second lockdown in England at their Berkshire residence and announced earlier this week they will remain at Windsor Castle for Christmas, forgoing the annual royal gathering at Sandringham.