Murdoch became the latest public figure to receive a coronavirus vaccine after undergoing surgery at a local GP for his first dose late on Wednesday.
A Range Rover convoy took the 89-year-old billionaire to a dedicated vaccine center in Henley, Oxfordshire, where normal time was reportedly extended at the last minute. An email was sent saying: “Just a reminder – we have been advised not to give ‘media coverage’ due to security issues. Please note that photography and video are strictly prohibited.”
A statement issued on behalf of News Corporation’s executive chairman Murdoch said he received a phone call from his qualified GP and took the vaccine at his local GP’s surgery.
It added its gratitude to the people behind the vaccine: “I would like to thank the key staff and NHS staff and the amazing scientists who have made this vaccine possible, who have worked so hard throughout the epidemic.”
People over the age of 60 are at the top of the priority group for this vaccine, as well as first-line health and social workers. The first priority is the residents of the care home and their carers.
Murdoch, of Australian descent and a U.S. citizen, was separated from his wife, Jerry Hall Murdoch, at his home near Henley for most of the year.
While Murdoch’s British publications have strongly supported the vaccination program as the best way out of the coronavirus crisis, there are differing views in some corners of his media empire.
Tokar Carlson, host of the right-wing Fox News, highlighted a rare “bad vaccine response” to his program on Thursday and suggested that people respond “nervously” to the “marketing campaign” for the vaccine. He called the vaccines a “strong supporter” but complained: “It seems to be a lie because it is. It’s very clever.”
Earlier this year, a doctor at a planned birthday party for Murdoch was reportedly called in to express concern over his health, with Fox hosts promoting those concerned about the crisis as “panic pushers” who are promoting “mass hysteria.”
The vaccine was recently found among other public figures in the UK, including Sir Ian McClellan, who said he felt “overwhelmed” and noted: “He is alive as long as I live because he has a previous vaccine.”
Jack Whitehall’s father, Michael Whitehall, also vaccinated Prack Leth and Lionel Blair.