Queen Elizabeth II will reportedly be a leading figure in the early days of a COVID-19 vaccine.
According to Daily Mail, the Queen will receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine "within weeks" from now. She is then expected to make it known that she's done so, with her voice acting as a "powerful counter to the anti-vaccination movement." The UK will begin Phase 1 of its vaccination program on Dec. 8.
Report: Queen will "wait in line" to have COVID-19 vaccine
Queen Elizabeth, 94, and her husband Prince Philip, 99, are in the over-80 age group who are expected to be among the first wave to receive the vaccine this month. However, the royals will not receive preferential treatment in getting vaccinated, as reports say they will "wait in line" like anyone else.
Buckingham Palace has declined comment on the story, Daily Mail reports. Nonetheless, the Royal Family could become involved in public support for the vaccine. It's said that the Palace is debating on the extent to which other senior royals—including Prince Charles and Prince William—will be vocal proponents of getting vaccinated.
Charles and William, both of whom overcame COVID-positive tests earlier in 2020, will wait longer on the vaccine than the Queen. The Prince of Wales is in the over-70 age group (fourth in line), while the Duke of Cambridge is not included in Phase 1 because he's under 50 years old.
Royal Family joining in public vaccine messages?
In both the UK and the US, notable figures have been pledging to publicly take the vaccine, amid opposition from skeptics and anti-vaccine groups.
British names who are mentioned as potential participants in a public showing include Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judi Dench, Michael Palin, and Ronnie Wood. In the US, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have likewise volunteered to do the same.
As of November, the Queen and Prince Philip have been in lockdown at Windsor Castle. They also won't travel to the Sandringham Estate over the holidays, as that annual tradition and many others have been cancelled as a precaution amid the pandemic.