Pope Francis has called
opposition to the
"suicidal denial urging people
to get the jab, saying he would
get vaccinated himself next
week, even as Britain's Queen
Elizabeth II and her husband
Prince Philip received Covid-19
vaccinations on Saturday.
"Next week, we will start to do
it here (in the Vatican) and I made
an appointment, we must do it,
he told Canale five in segments
released on Saturday from an
interview set to be broadcast the
"There is a suicidal denial
which I cannot explain, but today we have to get vaccinated,
the pontiff said.
In the meantime, the 94-yearold queen and Philip, 99, were given the injections by a royal
household doctor at Windsor
"The Queen and the Duke of
Edinburgh have today received
Covid-19 vaccinations, a
Buckingham Palace spokesman
said, in a rare public comment on
the private health matters of the
It is understood the queen
decided the information should
be made public to prevent inaccuracies and speculation.
No further details about the
vaccinations were released,
news agency has said.
The queen and Philip have
spent much of the pandemic in
self-isolation at Windsor because of their advanced age, and
this year cancelled their traditional family Christmas at her
Sandringham estate in eastern
Report says, more than 1.5 million people in Britain have so far
received virus jabs, as the biggest immunisation programme in
its history ramps up with priority
given to the elderly, their carers
and health workers.
The country, which has so far
begun administering two types
of approved vaccines, is racing
to inoculate as many people as
possible as a coronavirus variant pushes infections and
deaths to unprecedented levels.
Britain on Saturday passed the
grim milestone of three million
cases during the pandemic, after the government announced
another 59,937 new cases.
It 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.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
imposed a third stay-at-home order at the start of the week as
cases continue to spiral since
Medical chiefs are racing to
boost treatment capacity as hospitals risked being overwhelmed,
while the government steps up
its mass inoculation campaign.
It is banking on the rollout of
the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/
AstraZeneca vaccines to halt
the spread of the virus.
UK regulators also this week
approved US firm Moderna's
Covid vaccine - the third to be
authorised for use across the
The government aims to have
inoculated 15 million of the most
vulnerable groups, including
frontline National Health
Service(NHS) staff, by mid-February, and has deployed the
armed forces to help with the