Queen urges Brits to get Covid vaccine and says those refusing should think of others before themselves

THE Queen last night urged Brits to get their jabs and said: “It didn’t hurt at all.”

The 94-year-old monarch, given her injection seven weeks ago and wearing a brooch in tribute to ill husband Philip, told a video call that Covid was a “plague”.

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She said of those refusing to be jabbed: “They ought to think about other people rather than themselves.”

In a chat to chiefs overseeing the rollout, she said of her injection seven weeks ago: “It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who’ve been surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine.”

Chuckling on screen, she said it “didn’t hurt at all” and gave her a huge feeling of protection.

She spoke alone from Windsor Castle while husband Prince Philip remains in hospital with an infection said to be unrelated to Covid.

In the video, released by Buckingham Palace, she was joined by Dr Emily Lawson, chief commercial officer of NHS England and Derek Grieve, of the Scottish Government’s vaccinations division.

Also appearing was Dr Naresh Chada, deputy chief medical officer for Northern Ireland and his Wales equivalent, Dr Gillian Richardson.

They described how the UK has been a global leader in the vaccine rollout with 18million having their first dose so far.

Royal doctors gave the Queen and Philip their jabs at Windsor Castle on January 9.

Her Majesty told the NHS experts that the amazing public response to the pandemic was similar to British defiance in the Second World War.

She listened intently as Mr Grieve said he wished he could bottle the community spirit he’s seen.

The Queen — who served her country as a truck mechanic in the Auxiliary Territorial Service — replied: “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.”

Dr Chada told her the virus was the most disruptive pandemic in a century.

He said: “I’ve got absolute faith both in the medical and research — in the UK and globally — that we will keep a step ahead of the virus. And that will definitely lead to better times for all of us.”

The Queen replied: “It is a bit like the 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.”

Dr Lawson said she hoped the entire population would come forward for the vaccine.

The Queen replied: “Once you’ve had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected, which is I think very important.

“And the other thing is that it is obviously difficult for people if they’ve never had a vaccine or they’ve had to umm but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves.”

Brooch for poorly Phil

THE Queen paid a touching tribute to ill husband Prince Philip by wearing the silver brooch she wore for their engagement 74 years ago.

The 99-year-old has spent his tenth night in hospital away from Windsor Castle with an infection.

Her Majesty first wore the six-petal diamond flower brooch as Princess Elizabeth, aged 21.

Official black and white photos show the future Queen wearing the jewellery next to her husband-to-be for the announcement in July 1947.

It was given to her by the Royal Household for her 21st birthday weeks earlier and is rarely seen.

The Queen wore her honeymoon brooch in photos for their 73rd wedding anniversary last year.

The video call was made on Tuesday to hear how the vaccine rollout was working across the four home nations.

The Queen added: “It has been very interesting hearing all about that.

“It is remarkable how quickly the whole thing has been done and so many people have had the vaccine.

“So you’ll have to keep up the good work. I’m very glad indeed to have had the chance to hear it all.”

Dr Lawson said it was good to hear the Queen was happy with her jab, adding: “We had lovely examples of people saying the same thing. It is something we can all be proud of.”

A total of 2,500 vaccination centres have been manned by NHS staff, retired nurses and GPs.

In turn they have been aided by Royal Voluntary Service heroes, including 50,000 from The Sun’s Jabs Army.

Dr Lawson added: “It really embodies the spirit of the NHS and is an amazing example of what the service can do when we all pull in the same direction and work together with partners to deliver.”

The Queen was told that Coastguards had been drafted in to fly the vaccine to remote communities and islands in Scotland.

In the Outer Hebrides, 400 people were vaccinated in a community centre manned by firefighters and Coastguards.

Mr Grieve revealed how emergency fridges had been set up in Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles.

He described it as “a huge national endeavour” and “absolutely heartening to see”.

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.”

Dr Chada said that in Northern Ireland they had vaccinated residents of all 438 care homes.

But he warned we face a “continual battle of the vaccine versus virus and mutations”.

Dr Richardson described to the Queen how 359 members of the armed forces helped in Wales.

The monarch, who saw son Charles and grandson William battle Covid last year, tuned in from Windsor Castle’s Oak Room on a Cisco Webex conferencing platform.

It is not the first time she has taken part in video calls during the pandemic.

Last June she appeared alongside Princess Anne and the Carers Trust.

And in July she appeared to get the giggles when Jamaican bobsleigher, Lance Corporal Shanwayne Stephens revealed in a call how he kept in training by pushing a Mini Cooper around Peterborough.

That month the Queen also appeared on call for the unveiling of a portrait.

In November she was treated to a virtual performance by the Sistema Cyprus Symphony Orchestra.

In her first external public engagement since last year’s lockdown she toured the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, Wilts, in October.

The Queen’s daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex has volunteered for St John Ambulance.

And earlier this week William and Kate visited a vaccination centre in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

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