Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son and heir Prince Charles, who contracted Covid-19 last year, has received a first vaccine dose, his office said on Wednesday.
The 72-year-old Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla, 73, both received the shot as health authorities urged those over the age of 70 to get a jab.
Britain, which was the first Western nation to roll out Covid jabs in the general population, is banking on its biggest ever vaccination programme as a way out of a contagion that has killed more than 113,000 people.
Some 12.5 million people have so far been inoculated using either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca shots.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has set a target to vaccinate the most vulnerable and at-risk groups by February 15.
Over-70s are the last cohort in that group of 15 million people to be vaccinated under the plan.
The queen, 94, and her 99-year-old husband, Prince Philip received their Covid vaccine last month.
The unusual move to publicise the inoculations — royal officials rarely comment on private health matters concerning the head of state — came as those over 80 were given the vaccine.
The state-run National Health Service meanwhile on Wednesday released an advert starring pop icon Elton John and the Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine urging the public to get vaccinated.
The tongue-in-cheek advert shows Caine, 87, and John, 73, appearing in a mock audition at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
“My name is Michael Caine,” says the actor, rolling up his sleeve. “I’ve just had a vaccine for Covid. It didn’t hurt a bit. Not many people know that.”
Prince Charles tested positive for coronavirus in March 2020. The 71-year-old and his wife Camilla — who did not have COVID-19 — were self-isolating in Scotland.
“The Prince of Wales has tested positive for Coronavirus,” Clarence House had said in a statement, using his official title. “He has been displaying mild symptoms but otherwise remains in good health and has been working from home throughout the last few days as usual. The Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla) has also been tested but does not have the virus. In accordance with government and medical advice, the prince and the duchess are now self-isolating at home in Scotland.”
The couple were tested by the state-run National Health Service (NHS) in Aberdeenshire in northeast Scotland, the statement said.
(With inputs from AFP)