Prince William and Kate spoke to two clinically vulnerable women who have been shielding for almost a year via video call on Tuesday.
Fiona Doyle, who has severe asthma, and Shivali Modha, who has type 2 diabetes, fall into vaccine priority group six, members of which have now started to receive vaccine invites.
The two women were preparing to have the inoculation when they spoke to the royal couple.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were told how Ms Modha had been worried about the vaccine after reading things on social media.
However, her family members, who have had the jab, have since offered her reassurance, as has charity Diabetes UK.
William told her: “Catherine and I are not medical experts by any means but if it’s any consolation, we can wholeheartedly support having vaccinations. It’s really, really important.
“We’ve spoken to a lot of people about it and the uptake has been amazing so far. We’ve got to keep it going so the younger generations also feel that it’s really important for them to have it.
“So it’s great that Shivali you’re taking the time to work it out and come to the conclusion that ‘I need to do this’ because social media is awash sometimes with lots of rumours and misinformation, so we have to be a bit careful who we believe and where we get our information from.
“Especially for those who are clinically vulnerable as well, it’s so important that those vaccinations are done, so good luck.”
The royal family has been supporting the vaccination programme, visiting vaccine centres and announcing when members of the family, including the Queen and Philip, have had the jab.
A group of charities which work with those who have health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus, including Diabetes UK and Asthma UK, has been working together to promote the jab among people with underlying conditions.
Ms Modha, 39, told the royal couple: “I guess it’s just the unknown and I think that’s the case for most people. It’s just something that is unknown right now. And by the time you’ve had it, it will be A-OK.”
Kate replied: “I hope it comes as a huge relief in the end. I know there’s maybe the anxiety and the worry leading up to it, but I hope for all of you it will add a bit of normality back to your lives and confidence as well as we go forward into the spring, that would be great.”
Fiona Doyle, 37, told William and Kate she “can’t wait” to have the jab.
Asked by the couple how she felt about getting the vaccine, she said: “I can’t wait! I’m priority group six, so any day now I’m really hoping to get called up.”
She added: “I think I’m trying to not see it as a magic cure. I’m not going to go out licking lampposts or anything straight away!”
“Did you used to do that before?” laughed the Duke Of Cambridge.
“I’m probably going to do what I do normally,” said Ms Doyle. “I’ll still wear my mask, I’ll still keep my hand gel, still social distance.
“But it’s nice to know that mentally you have that layer of protection and that if you do end up being unfortunate enough to catch it, it won’t be as severe as it might have been without having been vaccinated.”
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