Prince Harry warned against 'problematic choices' by royal expert
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The expert, which uses the username Royal Tea on Twitter, commented on the speech delivered by the Duke of Sussex last week to award the team behind the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab at the GQ Men of the Year Awards. She believes Prince Harry addressed a British audience with an issue which doesn’t appear to concern people in the UK as much as Americans.
She wrote on Twitter: “The main problem with this speech is that Harry made it at an event for a UK media outlet, when his target audience, and the place where you see the most vaccine ‘misinformation’ these days, is the US media.
“He’s become so American in thinking our issues are everyone’s issues.”
The expert’s take on Prince Harry’s speech divided her online followers.
One noted the vaccination campaign has been widely welcomed by people living in the UK and, agreeing with the expert, added the Duke’s speech would have been more appropriate to an American audience than a British one.
Replying to the expert’s tweet, they said: “Exactly! Harry is speaking at a UK event & said media misinformation is causing vaccine hesitation.
“Yet, data for the UK doesn’t indicate that is true. UK has a higher percentage of vaccination (at least one dose) than USA.
“And the UK vaccination percentage is similar or higher than nearby countries.
“In my opinion, he should have adjusted his speech for his UK audience rather than assume the problems seen in US are also in UK.
“The data doesn’t indicate that the UK itself has a problem with ‘vaccine hesitancy due to media misinformation’.”
This Twitter user mentioned official data collated by the website Our World In Data on September 3 which showed the share of people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The graph shared demonstrated the UK has a higher number of people who have taken up the offer of the vaccine when compared to the US and is performing similarly to other European countries.
Data shared by the Office for National Statistics on August 9 showed coronavirus vaccine hesitancy has fallen across the regions and countries of Great Britain among adults during the first half of 2021.
Another said: “Exactly. I wondered about that. Vaccine hesitancy? In the UK? Surely it’s not THAT bad over there.”
Others, on the other hand, agreed with Prince Harry’s decision to speak about misinformation in his speech focused on vaccine equity.
One said Prince Harry managed to turn the London-based event global thanks to the attention media around the world pay to him, so he was right in speaking to the audience about a global issue.
They said: “This event received global coverage. He has a global presence.
“He reached his ‘target audience’.”
Another added Harry helped many people learn more about the Oxford/AstraZeneca team, saying: “I don’t live in UK or US, but now I know the names of the team who did the amazing job for the vaccine.
And that’s because Harry made it global.
“(I’m sure their names have been in the UK papers but I’ve missed it)”.
Another Twitter user replied to the PR expert saying: “Vaccine misinformation is rampant in 3rd world countries, indeed all over the world. UK is no exception. Vital that he took the opportunity to address it.
“Job well done to all the recipients – I believe one of them praised his speech unreservedly.”
This Twitter user referred to a comment made by Dr Catherine Green, one of the leaders of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine team, after receiving the Heroes of the Year award.
Speaking about having the award presented by the Duke, she said: “I know, we didn’t know that was going to happen.
“So suddenly Prince Harry is on stage and he said all of the things we wanted to say about the essential necessity to get the vaccine to the world for people irrespectively of their ability to pay. Really important message.”
In his speech, Prince Harry said no one is safe unless the whole world is vaccinated against COVID-19.
And, speaking about vaccine hesitancy around the world and not just in the UK, he said: “At the same time, families around the world are being overwhelmed by mass-scale misinformation across news media and social media, where those who peddle in lies and fear are creating vaccine hesitancy, which in turn is dividing communities and eroding trust.
“This is a system we need to break if we are to overcome COVID-19 and the rise of new variants.”
Express.co.uk has contacted representatives of the Duke of Sussex for comment.
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