Queen Elizabeth II calls vaccine ‘quite harmless’

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LONDON — Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is encouraging people to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the shot is quick, harmless and will help protect others against the disease.

In a video call with the officials responsible for rolling out the vaccine, the 94-year-old monarch compared the effort that’s gone into Britain’s national vaccination campaign to the way people worked together during World War II.

“Well, once you’ve had the vaccine you have a feeling of, you know, you’re protected, which is, I think, very important,” the queen said on a tape of the call broadcast Friday. “And as far as I can make out it was quite harmless, very quick. And I’ve had lots of letters from people who’ve been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine.”

The queen also highlighted the fact that being vaccinated helps protect everyone, not just the person who gets the shot.

“It is obviously difficult for people, if they’ve never had a vaccine, because they ought to think about other people rather than themselves,” she said.

The queen and her husband, Prince Philip, 99, received their first dose of the vaccine last month. He was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital on Feb. 16 in what royal officials called a precautionary measure.

Buckingham Palace said Tuesday that he was being treated for an infection.

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