Why the Queen, 94, won't be the first in line to get a coronavirus vaccine

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: Who will get the vaccine first? Priority list revealed for Pfizer/BioNTech jab

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

The Queen and Philip will not be the first people to receive the new coronavirus vaccine, according to a priority list set out to ministers.

The UK is to become the first nation to roll out a coronavirus vaccine, after the Pfizer/BioNTech offering was approved by experts.

The news has been met with excitement across the country, as a glimmer of hope of returning to normal life peeks through at the end of the year.

The rollout will start in December, likely to be in line with a priority list issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

TOPSHOT - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) wait for the carriage carrying Princess Eugenie of York and her husband Jack Brooksbank to pass at the start of the procession after their wedding ceremony at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on October 12, 2018. (Photo by Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen and Philip, here in 2018, are in their 90s but don't get priority access to the vaccine. (AFP)

The list has been determined on a national scale. No one can jump the queue dependant on the tier they live in or other factors.

As the list currently stands, it means the Queen and Prince Philip won’t be able to get the jab in the first few weeks.

The Queen, at 94, and the Duke of Edinburgh, at 99, don’t live in a care home, so they fall into the second category of over-80s.

Read more: Who will get the vaccine first? Priority list revealed for Pfizer/BioNTech immunisations

The Queen’s cousins, the Duke of Kent, 85, and Princess Alexandra, at 83, will get the vaccine at about the same time as they will fall into the same category.

Charles, and his wife Camilla, Anne, the Princess Royal, and the current Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, are all in their 70s and will get their vaccines in the third or fourth categories.

The next major royals to get the vaccine will have a while to wait, as the government will start to prioritise those with underlying health conditions or people who are extremely clinically vulnerable.

There are no known royals who would fit into this category.

(Yahoo News)
(Yahoo News)

Prince Andrew, at 60, and his former wife Sarah Ferguson, also 60, will be next in line, in the seventh group.

The Queen’s youngest son is Prince Edward, and at 56, he will have to wait until the penultimate rollout, when over 55’s get the jab.

His wife Sophie is 55 so she will likely get it at the same time.

The younger royals, like William, Kate, Mike and Zara Tindall, and Peter Phillips will have to wait for the wider rollout.

TINTAGEL, ENGLAND - JULY 20:  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall walk through the ruins of Tintagel Castle during their visit to Cornwall, south west England on July 20, 2020 in Tintagel, England. (Photo by Geoff Caddick - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Charles and Camilla, here in July 2020, will have to wait until the fourth group gets vaccines. (Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge speak to staff as they visit St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, to mark the launch of the nationwide 'Hold Still' community photography project on October 20, 2020. (Photo by Matt Dunham / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MATT DUNHAM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
William and Kate won't be vaccinated until everyone over 50 and the vulnerable are covered. (AFP)

Read more: Queen showing 'real leadership' with message 'it's alright to miss Christmas', says expert

Royal children are unlikely to get the vaccine at all. The government has said pregnant women and children under the age of 16 will be advised against taking it for now because there isn’t enough data about its impact on those groups.

Children tend to suffer less with coronavirus, according to evidence so far.

However some children will be given it, including those “at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care”.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who now live in California, will have to wait until the vaccine is rolled out in the US to get immunised.

KING'S LYNN, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 25: Prince George of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge attend the Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2019 in King's Lynn, United Kingdom. (Photo by UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, here in December 2019, are unlikely to get the vaccine because they're too young. (UK Press)
The couple hosted and moderated talks with people who are working in the digital space. (TIME)
Harry and Meghan now live in California so will have to wait for the rollout there. (TIME)

Several vaccines are getting closer to approval in the US, and two are seeking emergency approval.

Vice-president Mike Pence has said rollout there could start in the week of 14 December.

The US appears to be prioritising the rollout based on working situations, rather than age, though its health workers and those living in care homes who will get it first.

Read more: Here's what a royal Christmas at Windsor used to look like

Then they might give it to essential workers, with states deciding for themselves which industries to prioritise.

It’s likely to be next summer before Harry and Meghan would be able to get the vaccine, not too different from the royals still in the UK.

The US government has said Americans will get the vaccine for free, despite not having a national health system like Britain’s NHS, so the Duke and Duchess of Sussex won’t have to pay.

Watch: The Queen and Prince Philip to spend Christmas at Windsor