Queen Elizabeth encourages COVID-19 vaccinations, says it's 'quite harmless'

Queen Elizabeth encourages COVID-19 vaccinations, says it's 'quite harmless'
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Queen Elizabeth II is encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with the 94-year-old British monarch describing the process as “quite harmless, very quick.”

She praised the United Kingdom’s national vaccination campaign during a video call with health officials released on Friday, comparing the massive effort to the way people banded together during World War II.

“Well, once you’ve had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected, which is, I think, very important,” the queen said. “And as far as I can make out it was quite harmless, 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.”

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The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, 99, received their first dose of the vaccine last month at Windsor Castle.

She said on the call that getting vaccinated helps all those around you, not just yourself.

“It is obviously difficult for people, if they’ve never had a vaccine, because they ought to think about other people rather than themselves,” the queen said.

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Prince Philip was admitted to a London hospital last week as a “precautionary measure” after feeling unwell. Buckingham Palace said he was "responding to treatment" for an undisclosed infection not related to COVID-19.

Earlier this month, the U.K. government announced that it had reached its goal of getting at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine to its most vulnerable populations in England. 

The country had succeeded in meeting its goal of vaccinating by Feb. 15 the 15 million residents of England who were in four high-priority groups: those who live or work in care homes, those who are front-line workers, those who are aged 70 and above, and those who are at a high risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19.