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Covid vaccine rollout: Kate and William urge people to 'keep it going' and get a jab
27 February 2021, 22:07
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have urged people to keep on taking Covid-19 vaccines to encourage others.
William urged people to keep on taking the Covid-19 vaccination so "younger generations" will feel "it's really important for them to have it", while Kate said she hoped it would "add a bit of normality back" to people's lives.
The Duke also warned against "rumours and misinformation" on social media about the jabs as the couple talked by video call with two clinically vulnerable women who have been shielding since last March.
His comments came after the Queen encouraged those hesitant about vaccination to "think about other people rather than themselves".
Shivali Modha, a mother-of-two who has type 2 diabetes, was preparing to have her jab when she spoke to the royals on Tuesday.
The Cambridges heard how she had been anxious about the vaccine after reading things on social media, but has since been reassured by vaccinated family members and medics from the charity Diabetes UK.
William told her: "Catherine and I are not medical experts by any means but if it's any consolation, we can wholeheartedly support having vaccinations. It's really, really important.
"We've spoken to a lot of people about it and the uptake has been amazing so far. We've got to keep it going so the younger generations also feel that it's really important for them to have it.
"So it's great that, Shivali, you're taking the time to work it out and come to the conclusion that 'I need to do this' because social media is awash sometimes with lots of rumours and misinformation, so we have to be a bit careful who we believe and where we get our information from.
"Especially for those who are clinically vulnerable as well, it's so important that those vaccinations are done, so good luck."
"I guess it's just the unknown and I think that's the case for most people," Mrs Modha replied, "it's just something that is unknown right now and by the time you've had it, it will be A-OK."
Some of the UK's leading health charities, including Diabetes UK and Asthma UK, have formed a coalition to promote vaccine uptake among people with long-term health conditions - with support from the royals.
The family have been speaking at similar events to promote the NHS in its rollout of the jab, including visiting vaccination centres to thank staff and volunteers for their efforts.
Thanking the duke and duchess for calling, Mrs Modha told them: "It's really nice to have you in our home, I wish I could offer you a cup of tea!"
"Same here!" laughed Kate.
The royals also spoke to Fiona Doyle, 37, and her seven-year-old daughter Ciara, who have been shielding at home in East Finchley, north London, since the pandemic began.
She said the charity Asthma UK had been a "real source of support" in dealing with her situation.
Asked by the duke how she felt about the vaccination, she replied: "I can't wait! I'm priority group six, so any day now I'm really hoping to get called up.
Ms Doyle added: "I think I'm trying to not see it as a magic cure. I'm not going to go out licking lampposts or anything straight away!"
"Did you used to do that before?" laughed William.
"I'm probably going to do what I do normally," said Ms Doyle. "I'll still wear my mask, I'll still keep my hand gel, still social distance.
"But it's nice to know that mentally you have that layer of protection and that if you do end up being unfortunate enough to catch it, it won't be as severe as it might have been without having been vaccinated."