Rock and roll star Marty Wilde has said getting the Covid-19 vaccination is “the right thing to do” after becoming one of the first celebrities to do so.
The singer – who scored a string of hits in the 50s and 60s with songs such as Teenager In Love – was given the jab at Lister Hospital in Stevenage on Thursday afternoon.
The 81-year-old called the NHS hotline earlier this week on the advice of a friend at his golf club and was offered the appointment after giving his age and name.
Speaking outside the hospital following his vaccination, Wilde said: “Having just had my Covid injection I can honestly say it was an easy experience, if that’s the right word. It was painless and the staff were great.”
On why he wanted to be among the first to have it, he said: “Because I think it is common sense. You look at the amount of people who have died over this last six to eight months and then you think how you can protect yourself. It’s common sense. The whole thing is just the right thing to do. You need an injection.”
Vaccinations began being administered at 70 hospital hubs across the UK from Tuesday – 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.
London-born Wilde, whose real name is Reginald Smith, was admitted to Lister Hospital during the first national lockdown after collapsing at his Hertfordshire home.
The singer and guitarist, whose daughter Kim found fame in 1981 with Kids In America, was treated for an irregular heart beat.
Speaking about NHS staff, he said: “I try and thank them whenever I see them now because they saved my life and that was very important. I would do everything I can for this hospital and also for the NHS staff. They are truly wonderful. We have got the best in the world.”
Ahead of getting the vaccination, Wilde had told the PA news agency: “This is one of the few times I am glad I am older than Cliff Richard because I am going to get my injection before that bugger does.”
He recently announced the release of his first Christmas single, a double A-side with daughters Roxanne and Kim featuring The Shadows’s Brian Bennett.