William hailed the vaccine as a “light at the end of the tunnel” and praised the “monumental” success of the jab rollout and the “world-leading NHS”. His comments came during a video call with medics who told him there is “vaccine hesitancy” in some groups. The Queen, 94, and 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, had their first vaccination doses at Windsor Castle eight days ago.
William said: “I am very proud of them for doing that. It is really important that everyone gets the vaccine when they are told to.” Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England and NHS Improvement and a GP in south-east London, described how important it is for patients to take up their jab appointments.
She told William: “We do have vaccine hesitancy in some groups. It is really important to get into communities, ethnically diverse communities, and more deprived communities to say, ‘This is your vaccine as well. It’s for everyone, not just for some communities’.”
William also said: “I want to say huge congratulations to everyone involved in the vaccination programme. I know what a massive difference it is going to make to everyone.
“This isn’t something that happens really easy, and everyone has access to it in terms of around the world. This is because we have a world-leading NHS and we have the right people, the right research and development.
“There is a big UK story here to tell.”
Five vaccine heroes were selected from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for the morale-boosting video chat.
Dalene Steele, a nurse and clinical lead on Covid-19 vaccinations in care homes across Ayrshire and Arran, Scotland, told William: “Everybody is aware that this is the biggest public health campaign in our working career, so we have the real potential to make a difference to the most vulnerable people.”
William replied: “It’s nice to have that light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like it’s been a very long year.”