Vaccine misinformation expert Professor Heidi Larson fears people will refuse a coronavirus jab over safety concerns. She suggested that public figures including the Queen could be used to help build trust in a vaccine.
The expert, who leads the Vaccine Confidence Project, said: “If there’s one thing I’ve seen, and I’ve been here [in the UK] for over a decade now, it’s the trust that she gets.
“And she’s certainly in that older cohort, so I think that’s actually really, really smart.
“Here’s the big question – will she get a vaccine?
“That may be a difficult one.
“I think the Palace is going to have to decide for themselves – do you want to risk a new vaccine on the Queen?
“Or do you want to keep her isolated?”
Prof Larson also told The Times: “They’re going to have to weigh those risks.
“So I wouldn’t want to put her in a spot – but she is an important voice.”
She made two televised addresses to the nation at the height of the crisis.
The monarch also completed her first ever video call as part of her royal duties.
On Thursday, the Queen stepped out for her first public engagement outside of a royal residence since March.
The 94-year-old was joined by her grandson Prince William at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) at Porton Down near Salisbury.
They met scientists providing vital support in the UK’s response to the outbreak.
Commenting on the current coronavirus situation, the Queen said: “It’s doubling itself again.”
Told it was on the rise and the approach was being evaluated, she added: “Well I suppose it was expected?”