Coronavirus

COVID: 'Relief' As WW2 Veteran And His Wife Are Vaccinated

Harry Southern, who served in the Royal Navy, compared the dangers of COVID-19 to the Blitz.

A Second World War Royal Navy veteran is among a group of 50 residents at a care home in Warwickshire to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Harry Southern, 95, and his 94-year-old wife Sue, both received their jabs at the Royal Star and Garter care home in Solihull where many residents have an Armed Forces background.

Mrs Southern said it was a "relief" for the pair to get the vaccine but added it will be "a while before we get any real benefit".

Mr Southern served as a Leading Seaman in the Navy and saw action in the Far East during the Second World War.

Despite his experiences of conflict, he compared the danger from coronavirus to the Blitz.

"Only a foolish person would go out in the middle of a Blitz," he told Forces News.

"What I think has been failed to be impressed on people is we are in the middle of the same type of Blitz.

"COVID is out there and if you go off to parties you are taking the same risk as if there was a bomb coming down and blowing you to smithereens," he added.

The couple, who met on a rambling weekend in Derbyshire in 1947 before tying the knot in 1950, moved to the care home two years ago.

Mr Southern saw action with the Royal Navy in the Far East during the Second World War (Picture: Harry Southern family handout).

And like many people across the country, they have kept in touch with their family online and spent much of the pandemic inside.

Mrs Southern said the "confinement" during the pandemic has been the hardest part and that she is now looking forward to having visitors again. 

"We are very lucky in that now we can have visitors to come and see us... that is going to be a lot more pleasurable," she said.

Three coronavirus vaccines have now been approved for use in the UK.

The jab, from US biotech firm Moderna, has also been given the green light, joining the vaccines from Pfizer/BionTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca.

On Thursday, the Defence Secretary said the military could be giving COVID vaccinations by February and told Forces News that 111 personnel are already involved in the planning process.