Britain's Prince Charles, eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, reported AFP quoting his office. The 72-year-old Prince of Wales, who contracted coronavirus last year, his wife Camilla, 73, both received the shot as health authorities urged those over the age of 70 to get a jab.  The UK was the first country to start vaccination of the general population against coronavirus last year. The country has so far reported more than 113,000 deaths after a new strain of COVID-19 was reported.

Some 12.5 million people have so far been inoculated using either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Oxford/AstraZeneca shots in the UK.

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The government plans to vaccinate the most vulnerable and at-risk groups by February 15.

Over-70s are the last cohort in that group of 15 million people to be vaccinated under the plan.

94-year-old Queen and her 99-year-old husband Prince Philip received their jab last month.

To encourage more people to get vaccinated, the state-run National Health Service meanwhile on Wednesday released an advert starring pop icon Elton John and the Oscar-winning actor Michael Caine urging the public to get vaccinated.

The tongue-in-cheek advert shows Caine, 87, and John, 73, appearing in a mock audition at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

"My name is Michael Caine," says the actor, rolling up his sleeve. "I've just had a vaccine for COVID. It didn't hurt a bit. Not many people know that."