Sir Paul McCartney: Anti-vaccine message takes hold online

Sir Paul McCartney fears the message put out by anti-vaxxers is “taking hold” because of the internet.

The ex-Beatle, 78, has said he will have the Covid-19 jab.

He told BBC Radio 4 programme Today: “I will (take the vaccine), and I’d like to encourage people to get it too.

“There used to be anti-vaccine people, that was OK, that was their choice.

“But with the internet now these things really take hold and so you do get these people who won’t take it.”

He also said he doubts that Glastonbury would take place next year, adding: “I think they’ve cancelled Glastonbury for 2021, haven’t they?”

Sir Paul was set to headline the festival’s 50th anniversary this year before it was cancelled because of the pandemic.

Glastonbury co-organiser Emily Eavis has said they do aim to have the festival back in June.

But asked whether Glastonbury was no longer in his diary for 2021, Sir Paul said: “I’d love it to be but I have a feeling it’s not going to be.”

He said of festivals: “We get 100,000 people closely packed together with flags and no masks. Talk about super spreader. So, you know, that’s going to be difficult.”

The Beatles Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years premiere – London
The Beatles Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years premiere – London

The star is more than happy to wear a face covering in the pandemic, saying: “If you talk to any famous people, the mask is a blessing.

“There’s none of this – ‘You’re taking away my civil liberties’ – it’s like it’s great for us.

“I would normally go to a supermarket but would expect to get recognised. With this, you can go anywhere.”

In a separate interview, the former Beatle told The Sun that “the vaccine will get us out of this”.

But Sir Paul said there are still challenges lying ahead.

Sir Ian McKellen is among the stars who have been vaccinated
Sir Ian McKellen is among the stars who have been vaccinated

“I mean it’s going to be very difficult for a while yet because you can’t just lock down a whole country unless you’re China,” he told the newspaper.

“We can’t have that kind of lack of freedom. We’re all brought up to enjoy this great freedom that we have in a democracy.

“So if somebody says, particularly to younger people, ‘Look, you’ve just got to stay in Saturday night’, I can’t imagine that all those girls you see in Liverpool in the freezing cold in the tiniest of miniskirts on a Saturday night in the middle of winter, I’m not sure you can say to them – ‘Look, you’ve got to stay home’.”

The rollout of the vaccine has begun in the UK – starting with healthcare workers, people living in care homes and the elderly.

Those receiving the Pfizer vaccine will be given a booster jab 21 days after their first dose to ensure the best chance of being protected against the virus.

Famous faces including actor Sir Ian McKellen, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith and rock and roll star Marty Wilde have already been vaccinated.