COVID-19: Queen Elizabeth urges people to 'think about others rather than themselves' and get vaccinated

Queen Elizabeth is urging people to "think about other people rather than themselves" and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The 94-year-old monarch made the comments during a video call with health officials leading the deployment of the vaccination in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Queen, who was inoculated in January, said she feels "protected" after receiving the vaccine.

"Once you have the vaccine, you have the feeling of being protected - which I think is very important and as far as I can make out, it was quite harmless," she said. 

"It was very quick. I've had lots of letters from people who have been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine and the jab didn't hurt at all."

She also had a message for those who are considering not getting the jab.

"It is obviously difficult for people if they have never had a vaccine, but they ought to think about other people other than themselves," she said.

Dr Emily Lawson, who leads the vaccine programme on behalf of England's National Health Service (NHS), agreed, saying she hopes everyone "takes it up".

"It is the best chance to protect both the people who take the vaccine, their families and their communities."

According to data from BBC, more than 18 million people in the UK have already received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

People in the first four priority groups -  those aged 70 and over, care home residents, healthcare workers and people required to shield - were all offered the vaccine by mid-February.

The country's program is currently in its second phase.