This time three months ago I was drawing up a list of celebrities who I was hoping would come out in support of any approved vaccine against Covid-19. My dream list included the likes of Brian Blessed, Sir Elton John, Little Mix and Gemma Collins. All of these people could use their influence to talk sense into those refusing to take the vaccine. But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that the world’s biggest influencer, Her Majesty The Queen, would get on board.
In her video conference with health sector leaders this week, the 94-year-old monarch had a clear message for those who are refusing to be vaccinated against coronavirus. To paraphrase her words of wisdom, The Queen said ‘don’t be so selfish.’
Quoting her verbatim in her much more diplomatic tones, Her Majesty said that anti-vaxxers “ought to think about other people rather than themselves.”
The Queen, of course, is absolutely right. We all know by now that the vaccination programme will only be a success if the majority of people take up the offer of a jab.
If a sizable proportion of society does not protect themselves, they are quite literally killing others.
The UK is in a very fortunate position when it comes to vaccine misinformation. Studies show that only a small minority of people would refuse to take the jab when it is offered to them.
Compare this to France where a staggering four in ten people say they will refuse to take the vaccine even though it has been proved to be safe.
It is a sad reflection on all of us when such a large number of people would sooner trust crackpot conspiracy theorists who believe the moon landings were fake and that the earth is flat instead of the global scientific community.
Similarly, having a vaccine does not make you a ‘sheep’. It is much more the case that not being jabbed makes you a lemming.
In summary, The Queen’s message is clear – this is not about you.
It is about 89-year-old Doris who lives in a care home and will die if she catches Covid from somebody who is too bone-idle to be jabbed.
It is about John who is undergoing chemotherapy and certainly does not need the added challenge of being infected with covid by a science denier.
It is about society coming together to defeat a virus that has put our lives on hold for a year, killing millions of people in the process.
If The Queen’s message can persuade even a small group of people to be vaccinated, then her taking the unusual step of speaking out about her health will have been worth it.