Two of the UK’s most celebrated knights of the realm, Elton John and Michael Caine, feature in a new video for the NHS (National Health Service) extolling the virtues of the Covid-19 vaccine.
The humorous and engaging clip has been launched to urge the British public, notably in older age groups, to be vaccinated. The procedure is advancing at a rapid pace across the UK, with more than 12 million people already having had their first jab, at this writing.
The 90-second film aims to overcome any fears or reticence that people may be feeling about having the injection, reiterating that it is perfectly safe. Caine, who turns 88 next month, and John, who will be 74 in March, have both had their first vaccinations. Elton sings “I’m still standing, yeah, yeah, yeah,” and Caine says of the jab: “I’ve just had a vaccine for Covid. It didn’t hurt.” He adds his famous catchphrase: “Not many people know that.”
Their tongue-in-cheek appearances accompany the new message that the NHS is now asking anyone in the UK over the age of 70 to contact their doctor for a vaccine appointment. Previously, a letter of invitation was required before booking, but takeup in older age groups across the country has been extremely high, and the new campaign aims to further advance the vaccination process.
Elton appears as if auditioning for the role in the ad, with a voice saying “Thanks Elton, we’ll let you know.” He retorts: “Well, at this short notice you won’t find anyone bigger” before the film cuts to Caine. As the credits display the www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine address, the voice concludes: “And Claire, let the little fellow know he didn’t get the job.”
In a statement, Elton says: “I wanted to take part in this film to help show people the benefits of getting vaccinated and how it helps protect ourselves and the people we love. The more people in society who get vaccinated, the more chance there is of eradicating the national Covid pandemic. It’s really important to know that the vaccines have all been thorough and met the necessary safety and quality standards.”