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‘I’m only in my late 30s!’: Celebrities who have had the COVID jab

Written by on 9 January 2021

Celebrities including comedians and former rock stars have been sharing their experiences of receiving the coronavirus vaccine – as they hope to encourage others to get the jab.

The prime minister has said more than a million vaccine doses have already been administered in the UK, with three different vaccines having been approved for use.

The vaccination programme – hailed as the largest in British history – began with healthcare workers, people living in care homes and the elderly, but will ramp up to include other demographics.

Here are some of the first celebrities to receive a coronavirus jab.

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Barry Humphries

The 86-year-old Australian performer who gave the world Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson made light of receiving the vaccine, insisting he wasn’t really old enough to qualify.

He joked: “I don’t think I have underlying issues. In fact, I’m an out-of-work actor and I’ve had to give the performance of a lifetime pretending to be old enough to get the vaccine.

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“I’m only in my late 30s!”

Prue Leith

The Great British Bake Off judge said she was “absolutely delighted” to be one of the first called in to receive the jab in December.

The 80-year-old chef posted a photo of herself having the jab in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, on Twitter, saying later she could not feel the needle going into her arm.

Prue Leith has been given the COVID-19 jab in Chipping Norton. Pic: Twitter
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Prue Leith was given the COVID-19 jab in Chipping Norton. Pic: Twitter/@PrueLeith

“It was so efficient… it’s amazing,” she said afterwards.

She added: “I’m thrilled to get it… they rang me up and asked if I wanted it and I said ‘yes!'”

And, keen to encourage others to follow her example, she said: “It’s really important – I can’t believe there’s anyone who doesn’t want to [get the vaccine]. It’s important we all do it.

“The sunny uplands are actually visible, which I’ve never felt before.”

Sir Ian McKellen

The Lord Of The Rings actor said he felt “euphoric” after being vaccinated at Queen Mary’s University Hospital in London.

The 81-year-old was photographed having the vaccine administered to him by a medic in December.

Handout photo issued by Jeff Moore of Sir Ian McKellen after safely receiving his Covid-19 vaccine at the Arts Research Centre, Queen Mary University Hospital, London.
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Sir Ian McKellen got his COVID-19 vaccine in London

He said all elderly people should ensure they get the jab, adding it was “painless”.

Sir Ian said: “It’s a very special day, I feel euphoric.

“Anyone who has lived as long as I have is alive because they have had previous vaccinations, the take up amongst the older generation will be 100% – it ought to be – because you’re having it not just for yourself but for people who you are close to – you’re doing your bit for society.

“Of course, it’s painless… it’s convenient, and getting in touch and meeting NHS staff and saying thank you to them for how hard they’ve been working is a bonus, I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone.

“I feel very lucky to have had the vaccine.”

Lionel Blair

The 92-year-old performer said he was happy to finish the year “with hope” after getting his first COVID-19 jab in Epsom, Surrey, in December.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when they called me and said, ‘it’s next week and then the next one is in January’ – and here I am.

Entertainer Lionel Blair, 92, receives the first of two injections with a dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Justine Braid at a NHS vaccine centre that has been set up in the grounds of the horse racing course at Epsom in Surrey, Britain December 16, 2020. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
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Mr Blair receives the first of two injections

“I’m just … thinking, thank God I live here.”

The entertainer added: “I’m hoping it’s going to make me live a bit longer! And seeing my grandchildren and children growing up. The whole thing means a great deal to me.”

Michael Whitehall

The father of comedian Jack Whitehall shared a photo of himself getting vaccinated on 14 December on Twitter.

Michael Whitehall got the jab
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Michael Whitehall praised NHS staff. Pic: Twitter/@fatherwhitehall

The 80-year-old praised the “brilliantly organised” Guy’s and St Thomas’ Trust London and the “wonderful NHS staff” who helped administer the jab.

Marty Wilde

The rock ‘n’ roll singer said he got one of the first vaccinations as it was “the right thing to do”.

The 81-year-old singer – who scored a string of hits in the 50s and 60s with songs such as Teenager In Love – was given the jab on 10 December at Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Wilde said: “Having just had my COVID injection I can honestly say it was an easy experience, if that’s the right word. It was painless and the staff were great.”

Handout photo issued by the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust of rock and roll star Marty Wilde receiving the Covid-19 vaccination, one of the first celebrities to do so.
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Marty Wilde was one of the first celebrities to get vaccinated

On why he wanted to be among the first to have it, he said: “Because I think it is common sense.

“You look at the amount of people who have died over this last six to eight months and then you think how you can protect yourself. It’s common sense.

“The whole thing is just the right thing to do. You need an injection.”

The singer and guitarist, whose daughter Kim found fame in 1981 with Kids In America, got an appointment after ringing the NHS hotline.

Patrick Mower

The 82-year-old Emmerdale star got his vaccination in Louth, Lincolnshire, in December.

Patrick Mower got the jab. Pic: Lincolnshire NHS
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Mr Mower said he was ‘incredibly lucky’. Pic: Lincolnshire NHS

He said: “Getting my COVID vaccination was incredibly simple and painless.

“I feel incredibly lucky to have had it & would like to thank all the wonderful NHS staff for making it happen.”