Sophie filled with joy after father receives Covid jab

The Countess of Wessex has spoken of how a “huge weight” has been lifted off her mind after her elderly father received his Covid vaccine.

Sophie said her father Christopher Rhys-Jones, 89, was “full of praise” for the way he received the jab on Tuesday, during her appearance at a virtual nursing conference.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were recently given their vaccinations at Windsor Castle, and the UK has now delivered almost five million vaccine doses to 4.6 million people.

The countess gave the opening address during the conference staged on Wednesday, the day she celebrated her 56th birthday, and told delegates: “Thank you so much, to all of you.

“It doesn’t matter which part of the system you’re working in, whether you’re general practitioner nurses, whether you’re healthcare assistants – we all know how much this whole pandemic has put on you, and we’re hugely grateful for all of your hard work.”

Sophie spoke during the virtual Lincolnshire NHS General Practice Nursing and Healthcare Assistant conference.

She added: “I had a wonderful early birthday present yesterday. It was an early birthday present because my father received his vaccine. He’s 89 years old, and I’m so happy that he’s actually got it.

Sophie spoke about her father during health conference. David Rose/The Daily Telegraph
Sophie spoke about her father during health conference. David Rose/The Daily Telegraph

“It’s a huge weight off my mind. And he was full of praise for the way that it had been handled and how quick and easy and simple the whole process was, and I know that wouldn’t be happening without the care and attention of the nurses out in general surgeries.”

The virtual nursing conference, hosted by the Lincolnshire Training Hub, provided an opportunity for NHS workers in the county to share experiences and challenges they have faced since the outbreak of Covid-19.