The Queen has said that having a COVID-19 vaccine “didn’t hurt at all” as she encouraged those who are hesitant about getting jabbed to “think about other people rather than themselves.”
Her Majesty endorsed the importance of the vaccination programme during a video call with four health officials leading the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccination across Britain.
“As far as I could make out it was quite harmless. It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who have been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine. And the jab – it didn’t hurt at all.”
The Queen’s public support and promotion of the vaccination programme has been warmly welcomed by the government and those within the health service trying to encourage everyone to have the jab.
Dr Naresh Chada, the deputy chief medical officer for Northern Ireland, said: “We know that this is probably the largest and most disruptive pandemic that we’ve faced globally and within the UK for over 100 years.”
The Queen replied: “It’s a bit like a 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.”
Praising how fast the programme had been rolled out the Queen added: “I think it is remarkable how quickly the whole thing has been done and so many people have had the vaccine already, so you’ll have to keep up the good work. I’m very glad indeed to have had the chance to hear it all.”
Derek Grieve, head of the Scottish government’s vaccinations division, said: “This has been a huge national endeavour and one that I certainly haven’t seen of this scale before.”
The Queen compared it to wartime spirit, saying: “Having lived through the war, it’s really much like that when everybody had the same idea and I think this has rather inspired that.”