Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh
* Royal officials said they took the rare step of commenting on the monarch’s health to prevent inaccuracies
* The UK is the world’s first nation to begin a mass vaccination drive against COVID-19
* The Government is aiming to deliver doses to 15 million people by mid-February
Buckingham Palace officials said in a statement that the 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, 99, received their COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday, joining some 1.5 million people in Britain who have been given a first dose of the vaccine.
It comes as the UK reaches a grim new milestone of 80,000 deaths from COVID-19, the world’s fifth-highest official death toll from the virus.
The injections were administered at Windsor Castle, where the Queen and her husband have been spending their time during lockdown.
Royal officials said they took the rare step of commenting on the monarch’s health in order to prevent inaccuracies and further speculation.
The Queen “decided that she would let it be known she has had the vaccination”, the palace statement said.
With a highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shuttered the economy and is rushing out vaccines.
The UK has now become the world’s first nation to begin a mass vaccination drive against the coronavirus.
The Government said it is aiming to deliver the first vaccine doses to 15 million people in the top priority groups by the middle of February.
That includes everyone over age 70, as well as frontline healthcare workers, care home residents and anyone whose health makes them especially vulnerable to the virus.