COVID-19: Prince Charles blasts anti-vaxxers

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Queen Elizabeth II’s oldest son and heir Prince Charles has criticized opposition to coronavirus vaccines, as British ministers sought to calm public fears about safety.

Prince Charles said there was no need to fear vaccination, as several countries suspended the roll-out of AstraZeneca’s Covid jab because of suspected links to blood clots.

“Who would have thought, for instance, that in the 21st century that there would be a significant lobby opposing vaccination, given its track record in eradicating so many terrible diseases,” he said in an article in the Future Healthcare Journal.

Charles, who has been vocal in advocating the rollout of the vaccine among more reluctant minority communities in Britain, added the jab had the “potential to protect and liberate some of the most vulnerable in our society from coronavirus”.

The 72-year-old Prince of Wales, who tested positive for coronavirus last year and suffered mild symptoms, had his first dose of a vaccine in February.

His wife, Camilla, 73, confirmed on Tuesday she had been given the AstraZeneca shot.

“You take what you are given,” she said as the pair visited a vaccination centre at a north London mosque, adding that she had no ill effects.

Britain’s government and scientists are increasingly pushing back at concerns about the safety of the vaccine developed by the Anglo-Swedish firm with scientists from Oxford University.

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European countries including France, Spain and Germany are among those who have halted using the jab pending a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

But Professor Jeremy Brown, from government advisory body the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), said the move was “not logical”.

“There is the concern that what’s happening in Europe might make people in the UK less confident in the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he told broadcaster ITV.