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COVID-19: Prince William urges vaccine uptake and warns of social media ‘awash with misinformation’


Prince William has urged people to get the COVID vaccine and warned of the dangers of “social media awash sometimes with lots of rumours and misinformation”.

The Duke of Cambridge said it was important for COVID vaccination efforts to continue so young people would feel “it’s really important for them to have it”.

William and Kate spoke with Shivali Modha and her family on Tuesday via a video call, as part of a talk with two clinically vulnerable women.

The Duke and Duchess spoke with the Modha family about their hesitancy to get the vaccine. Pic: Kensington Palace
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The Duke and Duchess spoke with the Modha family about their hesitancy to get the vaccine. Pic: Kensington Palace

The royals also chatted with Fiona Doyle.

Ms Doyle and Mrs Modha, who both live in London, have been shielding since the start of the pandemic due to pre-existing medical conditions.

It comes after the Queen also encouraged people to get a vaccine.

As the Cambridges spoke with Mrs Modha, 39, her husband Hiren and their daughters Shyaama, 11, and Jyoti, nine, she explained how she had been anxious about getting a coronavirus vaccine.

The royals listened as the mother-of-two – who has type 2 diabetes – said how posts on social media had concerned her, but that speaking to members of her family who had been jabbed, and also medical professionals and charity Diabetes UK, had encouraged her to get a vaccine.

Prince William said: “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.”

Ms Doyle, 37, who has also been shielding since March 2020 due to her severe asthma, chatted with the royals with her seven-year-old daughter Ciara.

She mentioned how the charity Asthma UK had supported her during the pandemic, and how she was keen to get a vaccine.

Ms Doyle 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!”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a video call to Fiona Doyle and her daughter Ciara. Pic: Kensington Palace
Image:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during a video call to Fiona Doyle and her daughter Ciara. Pic: Kensington Palace

“Did you used to do that before?” laughed William.

“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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