Queen and Prince Philip get vaccinated against COVID-19
News comes as highly transmissible new variant of the virus surges across Britain
Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, both in their 90s, have received vaccinations against COVID-19, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday.
"The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have today received COVID-19 vaccinations," the palace said in a statement. The Queen is 94 years old and Philip is 99, putting them in the priority category in Britain's coronavirus vaccine rollout.
A royal source said the vaccines were administered by a household doctor at the Queen's Windsor Castle residence, adding that she made the news public to counter any speculation. They joined some 1.5 million people who have received the first dose of the vaccine.
With a highly transmissible new variant of the virus surging across Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shuttered the economy and is rushing out vaccines in a bid to stem the spread of the pandemic.
On Dec. 8, Britain became the world's first country to begin a mass vaccination drive against the coronavirus. The government plans to vaccinate the elderly, the vulnerable and front-line workers — about 15 million people — by mid-February to ease a new strict lockdown imposed after a spike in cases to daily records.
Britain has the world's fifth-highest official death toll from COVID-19 at nearly 80,000, and the 1,325 deaths reported within 28 days of a positive test on Friday surpassed the previous daily record from last April.
With files from The Associated Press