The Duke of Cambridge spoke with frontline workers and volunteers across the United Kingdom to thank them for their part in administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking on a video call, the Prince also said that he was “very proud” of his grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for getting their vaccinations.
William, who spoke with these carers on Thursday, congratulated them saying: “I know what a massive difference it is going to make to everyone. It is also worth pointing out I think that this isn’t something that happens really easily and that everyone has access to around the world. This is because we have a world-leading NHS and we have the right people, research and development here.”
Joining William on the call, released today by Kensington Palace, were Dr Helen Alefounder, a GP at Rysseldene Surgery in Colwyn Bay; Dalene Steele, a nurse and clinical lead on COVID-19 vaccinations in care homes across Ayrshire and Arran; Jake Plummer, a volunteer flow manager at Solent NHS Trust and University Hospital Southampton; Bronagh Hegarty, a pharmacist at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry; and Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care for NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Kensington Palace noted that the discussion was centred around “how an effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from the virus, and how everybody has an important part to play in protecting their loved ones and the NHS.”
Over three million people in the UK have been vaccinated against COVID-19 already, with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, receiving their first doses last weekend at Windsor Castle.
Plummer said after the call” “It’s been a privilege to be a part of the vaccine rollout – in my role I’ve been able provide that friendly face that people need whilst they’re getting vaccinated, especially as it can be a daunting experience for some. I’ve met so many different people of all ages and backgrounds, and to meet The Duke today and be able to discuss with him how important this effort is really was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
Currently the COVID-19 vaccine is being administering to the most vulnerable populations and carers. Last summer, William visited the Oxford Vaccine Group at the University of Oxford to see the progress researchers were making on an effective vaccination. The Duke has kept abreast of developments with the vaccine throughout the process.
Dr. Kanaki said: “Everyone on the frontline, volunteers and NHS staff have all pulled together and worked so tremendously hard to ensure the vaccine rollout is a success, and it is fantastic that The Duke of Cambridge has taken the time to boost morale for all those across the UK who are so integral to this effort.
“We need to continue to be vigilant and ask that everybody abides by the restrictions in the coming weeks, and whether you have had a vaccine or not, please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives – that means staying at home as much as you can, and following the ‘hands, face, space’ guidance when you can’t.”