THE QUEEN has urged the public to accept the Covid-19 vaccine, suggesting that it would be selfish to refuse one.
In a rare display of social intervention, the British monarch urged people to "think about others rather than yourselves".
During a video call with NHS officials, the 94-year-old, who was vaccinated against coronavirus last month, said her jab "didn't hurt at all" and made her feel "protected".
She also praised the efforts of frontline healthcare staff, adding that it was remarkable how quickly the inoculation programme had been put into action.
"Once you've had the vaccine you have a feeling you're protected, which I think is very important," said the Queen.
"It's obviously difficult for people if they've never had a vaccine... but they ought to think about other people rather than themselves.
"It's a bit like the plague, isn't it? Because it's not only here that we've got the virus, but it's everywhere, so it's a strange battle that everybody's actually fighting.
"Having lived in the war, it's very much like that - when everybody had the same idea."
Speaking about the vaccine itself, she said: "As far as I can make out it was quite harmless. It was very quick, and I've had lots of letters from people who've been surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine.
"It didn't hurt at all," she added.
NHS chiefs said her Majesty's words were an "incredibly important vote of confidence" for the vaccine rollout, due to the fact that 'vaccine hesitancy' has the potential to undermine and slow down the easing of lockdown restrictions across the country.
It's estimated that around 15% of the UK will choose not to take the jab, with scepticism particularly high among the young as well as minority ethnic groups, according to the Daily Mail.
It's highly unusual for the Queen to get involved in such contentious public issues. Her duty as Monarch requires her to take a neutral stance on almost all divisive social and political topics.