Pope, Queen Elizabeth join COVID-19 vaccine drive as UK tops 3 million cases

0
76

ROME: Pope Francis and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on Saturday (Jan 9) became the latest high-profile figures to join the global vaccination campaign against the coronavirus, as the United Kingdom reported it had surpassed more than 3 million cases since the pandemic began more than a year ago.

Almost 1.9 million people worldwide have now died from the virus, with new variants adding to soaring cases and prompting the re-introduction of restrictions on movement across the globe – even as some countries begin mass inoculation campaigns.

Pope Francis urged people to get the vaccination, calling opposition to the jab “suicidal denial” and saying he would get inoculated against the virus himself next week when the Vatican would begin its campaign.

“There is a suicidal denial which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated,” the pontiff said in segments from an interview with Canale 5 due to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip received their COVID-19 vaccinations on Saturday, Buckingham Palace said, in a rare public comment on the private health matters of the long-serving monarch.

READ: BioNTech says COVID-19 vaccine ‘neutralises key mutation’ in UK, South Africa strains

A source told the domestic Press Association news agency that the queen, 94, and Philip, 99, were given the injections by a royal household doctor at Windsor Castle.

More than 1.5 million people in Britain have so far received virus jabs, as the biggest immunisation programme in its history rolls out with priority given to the elderly, their carers and health workers.

Countries across the globe are following suit, starting up massive vaccination campaigns with several coronavirus shots approved so far, including those by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna and domestically made jabs from Russia and China.

Britain, which has so far administered two types of vaccines, is racing to inoculate as many people as possible as a new variant believed to be more contagious pushes infections and deaths to unprecedented levels.

British health authorities on Saturday said the country had recorded more than 3 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began last year, after the government announced another 59,937 new daily cases.

The country also recorded another 1,035 fatalities from the virus, taking the total death toll to 80,868, one of the highest in Europe alongside Italy.

BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus outbreak and its developments

Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak: https://cna.asia/telegram

Source by [author_name]

Leave a Reply