The Norwegian Royal Court confirmed that the senior members of the royal house, the King, the Queen, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, as well as some members of the court, have all been vaccinated against the swine flu.
”This has been done, as they by virtue of their work, meet many people. This way, they avoid getting contaminated, and carry the contaminations to others if they should catch it,” says Sven Gjeruldsen, information manager at the court.
This is a bit of a controversial move – given that all the groups that are at risk have not received their vaccinations yet, and it can definitely be seen as cutting ahead in the line.
On the other hand, the vaccine itself is rather controversial in Norway, and while the government advices everyone to take the vaccine – not everyone is planning to do that. So could it possibly be seen as being in the forefront of the already established government agenda?
The question I’m left with is whether or not the heart surgery, and heart issues, King Harald had a few years ago, is ensuring that he’s actually in one of the risk groups? Would they tell us if that was the case? Who knows?
People have the same concerns in Canada about people who may not be in the high risk groups being vaccinated. It’s hard to tell who is and who isn’t so right now the clinics are being run on the ‘honor system’.
With the royal family receiving the vaccination it does seem as though they’re ‘cutting the line’. It would have been far better to actually have them standing at a clinic receiving the shot (unless of course they did)- it would be a great photo opportunity and highlight the need for people to stay healthy. It sets an example – people may be uncertain about whether to receive the vaccination (as they are in Canada) so seeing such high profile figures doing so might sway some people to get the shot.
In terms of the King’s health concerns, yes I would think that given his history he could be considered to be in the high risk group. At least that’s part of the criteria in Canada. But I’m not sure that they (the palace) would share that type of information with the public because it doesn’t put people’s minds at ease. There might be unecessary worry – is he going to live? isn’t he?
Hearing that Prince Philip was in the hospital last year, some articles about it sounded like obituaries. All you would have needed to change were a couple of words and it becomes literally an obituary. He was rumoured to have cancer and the palace had to emphatically deny it.
It would be the same with the Queen (UK). If we suddenly heard she was in the hospital or had health concerns the palace would more than likely keep it to themselves.