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Queen could receive Covid-19 vaccine 'within weeks'
6 December 2020, 12:55 | Updated: 6 December 2020, 13:25
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."
Due to their age, the Queen and Prince Philip would be considered a priority for the vaccine.
Dickie Arbiter, Former Press Secretary to the Queen, told LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday the Queen will "lead by example".
"The Queen has always led by example and if her and Prince Philip are willing to take it then other people should be willing to take it.
"It's all about saving lives. I don't know what people are making such a fuss about. Go and get the vaccine.
Asked whether pictures of her having the jab should be in the public domain, he said: "I think the words 'the Queen is having the vaccine' should be enough. I don't think anyone wants a picture of themselves having a jab put out there.
"The Queen is not a performer, she is the head of state."
Speaking about other Royal members getting the vaccine, Mr Arbiter said: "Prince Charles will likely be getting it, he's in his 70s so will be in one of the first groups."
The Queen and Prince Philip 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.
It comes after a string of celebrities have declared they will have the vaccine following backlash from anti-vaxxers.
An extraordinary rallying call was led by showbiz knights Bob Geldof, 69, Michael Palin, 77, and Michael Parkinson, 85.
Parkinson said: “I’m first in the queue.”
Monty Python legend Palin added: “I don’t have any qualms.”
Other celebs backing the jab included Eamonn Holmes, Craig Revel-Horwood, John Humphrys, Lulu, Roger Daltrey and Ronnie Wood.
This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes told the Sunday Mirror: “I will definitely take the vaccine. I reckon I’ve got more to lose by not taking it.
“Life is for living, not wasting. I have too much to do and see and to pack into whatever is left of my life rather than waste years hiding away.”