Prince William joins grandmother to condemn ‘false info’ and declares ‘get your vaccine’

Prince William's nod to Charlotte's birth discussed by experts

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Speaking out during a video call, the Duke of Cambridge told clinically vulnerable people and their families that he and Kate “wholeheartedly support having vaccinations”. William’s comments are part of an effort by senior members of the Royal Family to boost public confidence in the vaccine and to increase take-up of the jab.

Efforts were led by the Queen who, in a rare intervention during a call to health leaders last week, urged vaccine waverers to “think about other people rather than themselves”.

And William, 38, followed his grandmother’s strong message as he and Kate talked to two women in the vaccine rollout priority group six, who have been shielding with their families since the first lockdown last March.

Shivali Modha, who has Type 2 diabetes, and Fiona Doyle, who has severe asthma, spoke to the Duke and Duchess as they were preparing to have their vaccinations last Tuesday.

During their call to Shivali, 39, from Barnet, north London, her husband Hiren and their daughters Shyaama, 11, and Jyoti, nine, Kate and William heard how the mother of two had been anxious about the vaccine after reading articles on social media.

But she has since been reassured by family members who have already received the vaccine, along with medics and staff at the charity Diabetes UK.

William told Shivali: “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 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.”

The Prince warned Shivali: “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.”

He added: “It’s so important that those vaccinations are done, so good luck.”

Shivali told William she thought many people were simply worried about something they did not know about.

She said: “I guess it’s just the unknown and I think that’s the case for most people. And by the time you’ve had it, it will be A-OK.”

Kate told Shivali: “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.”

Thanking the couple for calling, Shivali said: “It’s really nice to have you in our home, I wish I could offer you a cup of tea!” – and a laughing Kate, 39, replied: “Same here!”

William also added some banter after an earlier conversation about how the family were keeping themselves amused, including fancy dress sessions.

He joked: “We quite like the sound of the fancy dress evenings – we might come around for one of those.”

The couple also spoke to Fiona, 37, and her daughter Ciara, seven, who have been shielding at home in East Finchley, north London, since the crisis began.

Speaking to Ciara about homeschooling, Kate asked: “Are you missing your friends? It’s hard, isn’t it, when you’re not all together, being able to see them, muck around with them as well?”

Ciara told the couple her Year Three topic for the term is Greek myths and she had just learned about Pandora’s Box.

She recalled that the message of the story is “even though there are bad things, there’s always hope” and a nodding William replied: “That’s very true.

“That fits very well with what we’re all going through at  the moment, doesn’t it? There’s hope ahead.”

The calls with the royal couple followed the news that leading health charities, including Diabetes UK and Asthma UK, have joined forces to promote ­vaccine uptake among people with long-term conditions.

William has previously criticised social media companies for failing to do enough to clamp down on online bullying and racist attacks on footballers.

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