Rupert Murdoch, 89, receives Covid vaccine despite Fox News scepticism

Rupert Murdoch, 89, gets the Covid vaccine an the NHS at his local GP surgery… while Fox News hosts question the jabs and create doubts about whether public should be ‘nervous’

  • Billionaire was whisked to a dedicated centre in Henley, Oxfordshire this week
  • Mr Murdoch said he ‘strongly encouraged’ people worldwide to get the jab 
  • But his willingness to take it is at odds with Fox News, which the mogul owns 
  • Tucker Carlson warned viewers to be sceptical of jab’s ‘glitzy’ public campaign

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has received a coronavirus jab at his local GP surgery in the UK, despite scepticism from Fox News hosts.

The 89-year-old billionaire, who is chairman of the channel’s Fox Corp and also owns News Corp, was whisked to a dedicated vaccine centre in Henley, Oxfordshire in a convoy of Range Rovers earlier this week.

Normal hours were reportedly extended at the last minute, with bosses forbidding media coverage ‘due to security issues’, according to the Guardian.  

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has received a coronavirus jab at his local GP surgery in the UK, despite scepticism from Fox News hosts

Tucker Carlson, host of one of the highest rated programmes on US cable news, opened his show on Thursday night by highlighting the case of a health worker in Alaska who suffered an adverse reaction to the vaccine and warning viewers to be sceptical of the ‘glitzy’ public campaign

Mr Murdoch, who has isolated in the UK since the summer with wife Jerry Hall said in a statement: ‘I would like to thank the key workers and the NHS staff who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic, and the amazing scientists who have made this vaccine possible.

‘I strongly encourage people around the world to get the vaccine as it becomes available.’ 

The tycoon’s age means he and others over 80, as well as frontline health and social care workers, are in the second tier of priority groups for the vaccine, behind care home residents and their carers. 

But Mr Murdoch’s willingness to receive the jab is at odds with many of the views broadcast on Fox News in recent weeks.

Tucker Carlson, host of one of the highest rated programmes on US cable news, opened his show on Thursday night by highlighting the case of a health worker in Alaska who suffered an adverse reaction to the vaccine and warning viewers to be sceptical of the ‘glitzy’ public campaign.

He said: ‘Even if you’re strongly supportive of vaccines, and we are, even if you recognize how many millions of lives have been saved over the past 50 years by vaccines, and we do, it all seems a bit much, it feels false, because it is. It’s too slick.’

Carlson then doubled-down on his scepticism, telling viewers he is not ‘a conspiracy nut’ for questioning the science behind the vaccine. 

Mr Murdoch said: ‘I strongly encourage people around the world to get the vaccine as it becomes available’

It comes as it emerged today that Oxford University’s jab is expected to be approved shortly after Christmas, raising hopes that millions of people a week could soon be being inoculated.

Senior Whitehall sources are said to believe that the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will authorise the vaccine on December 28 or 29. They are waiting for the final data from the Oxford scientists, which will be provided on Monday.

An MHRA spokesman said after the reports that its review is ‘ongoing’ and did not contradict the approval timeframe.    

More than 140,000 Britons have already received the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, after it was approved by the MHRA earlier this month, but it needs to be stored at around -70, whereas the Oxford vaccine can be kept at room temperature. 

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