Duke of Cambridge praises military workers for their ‘hard work’ in vaccine rollout

Duke of Cambridge praises military workers for their ‘hard work’ in vaccine rollout

The Duke of Cambridge took part in a virtual video call with members of the military to thank them for their efforts in the vaccination rollout.

Prince William spoke by video call with five military personnel and told them: “I really appreciate all the hard work you guys are doing at the moment. It’s making a huge difference.”

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“I hope we come out of this lockdown very soon and a bit more social contact and life can come back to normal as soon as possible.”

During a video call with five uniformed military personnel, who are part of the 5,000 members of the Armed Forces taking part in the vaccine rollout, the Duke was told how those venturing outside for the first time in months for their jabs put on their ‘best dresses’ or excitedly talked non-stop.

The future heir asked the group: “Are some of them a little bit unsure of, one, being in a social setting having been inside for so long but also about the jab?”

Private Jack Morelli of the Army’s 16 Medical Regiment told him: “Very rarely. I think the bigger thing is trying to move them along and dampen their enthusiasm if anything because so many of them have been cooped up inside the house for so long.

“They want to just chat your ear off for ages and it’s absolutely lovely. But yeah, it’s so nice to see them so happy.”

He added that people have so much ‘enthusiasm because they do start to see light at the end of the tunnel now’.

The serviceman, who has been working at a number of vaccination centres including Southend, Peterborough and Bury St Edmunds, offered a word of caution.

“You talk to some of these elderly people…and they’ve been shielding from the very beginning and you just think about what a long period of time that is at this point,” he stated.

“And you start to emphasise even with the vaccine it doesn’t mean it’s a free for all, everyone can get out of lockdown. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

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William carried out the virtual video call from Sandringham on Wednesday last week, and asked Private Abigail Render, of 5 Medical Regiment, what challenges she has faced.

Private Render replied: “I think it’s trying to reassure people. You get two ends of the spectrum. Some people are putting their best dresses on and they are coming in and they are like ‘it’s my first day out in so and so’ and then other people are like ‘I’m really not sure about having this vaccine’.

“It’s just sitting down with them and reassuring them, like this is a step that needs to be taken for us to return to some sort of normality at all.”

Also present in the video call were Senior Aircraftman James North, Private Abigail Render and Lieutenant Alexandra Merisoiu.

Having served in the military himself, Prince William has been a longtime supporter of the Armed Forces. In January 2009, William joined the RAF and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant.

His active service as an RAF search-and-rescue pilot ended in September 2013. In 2016, the Prince saw the closure of his RAF base, where he attended the disbandment parade.

After serving in the RAF, William moved on to work as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance where he ended his two-year stint in 2017.

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