The monarch could be called upon to instil faith in a coronavirus vaccine amid increasing fears that people won’t accept it. Currently, one in five Brits amid they are “unlikely” to get vaccinated even if one is approved by health professionals. It comes as online bots make fake news claims that Oxford University’s vaccine turns people into monkeys.
Posters, videos and other material showing the British-made vaccine as dangerous have been posted online.
And now, a Government adviser has said there could be one, excellent way to bolster faith in the jab – by getting the Queen on board.
Heidi Larson, an expert on vaccine misinformation, has been consulted by Downing Street over concerns that safety doubts would stop enough people being vaccinated when a jab is eventually rolled out.
The academic believes trusted people could be recruited to reassure front-line health workers and other groups in the high-risk category.
When asked about the Queen’s potential involvement in a future vaccine, Ms Larson told The Times: “If there’s one thing I’ve seen, and I’ve been here [in the UK] for over a decade now, it’s the trust that [the Queen] gets.
“And she is certainly in that older cohort, so I think that’s actually really, really smart.
“Here’s the big question – will she get a vaccine? That may be a difficult one.
“I think the Palace is going to have to decide for themselves – do you want to risk a new vaccine on the Queen? Or do you want to keep her isolated?
“They are going to have to weigh those risks.
“So I would not want to put her in a spot – but she is an important voice.”
Research by the Vaccine Confidence Project, led by Ms Larson, has suggested only an estimated half of the public “strongly agrees” that vaccines are safe.
As much as 80 percent of the population may need to be vaccinated in order to gain the desired herd immunity.
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The Queen may not opt for the vaccine, and instead continue in the isolation she’s been in this year.
Although things may prove complicated come Christmas time as her staff have reportedly refused to stay on in a Covid-bubble for the festive period.
Around 20 royal household employees had been asked to remain on the Sandringham estate to support the monarch and Duke of Edinburgh.
But the group are reportedly fighting against the decision as they are unwilling to isolate from their families for four weeks and not be able to see them.
This means the 94-year-old Queen could be forced to spend Christmas at Windsor Castle for the first time in 33 years.
A royal source told The Sun: “The Queen is furious. The staff said enough is enough. It is absolutely unprecedented.
“Everybody wants to stay loyal but they feel they’ve been pushed too far by being made to isolate from their families for Christmas.”
Another source said: “Discussions are taking place with the team on operations matters but it is too early to speculate on implications for Christmas.”