Mary Berry: I was pleased to get COVID-19 jab because of childhood polio

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·2-min read
Country Fair President Mary Berry is licked by a dog called Henry during the Chatsworth Country Fair in Bakewell, Derbyshire.
Dame Mary Berry has already received her COVID-19 vaccine. (Getty)

Dame Mary Berry has said she was “so pleased” to receive the coronavirus vaccination after suffering from polio as a child.

The former Great British Bake Off judge, 85, and her husband Paul Hunnings are among the more than four million people in the UK to have received a first jab.

She told Radio Times: “I was so pleased, particularly for my husband. I would encourage everyone, if it’s offered to them, to definitely have the vaccine.”

Dame Mary said contracting polio when she was 13 had made her conscious of the importance of vaccines.

Read more: Celebs who’ve had the Covid vaccine

She had to spend three months in hospital and was left with a “funny left hand” and a curved spine.

Sausage tasting panel at Marine Ices, Camden Town. Mrs Rita Peduzz (Housewife) and Mary Berry (TV cooking expert.) 24th September 1975. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Mary Berry takes part in a sausage tasting panel at Marine Ices in 1975. (Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

“I had polio, but now almost the whole world is vaccinated against it,” she said.

“If you’re in a hospital like I was, with people in callipers, people in pain, people who weren’t going to get better – I think everyone should take the vaccine, not query it, and think of others.

“I was immensely fortunate. I only had it on my left side and I’ve got a funny left hand. Everybody thinks I’ve got arthritis.

BIRMINGHAM - NOVEMBER 30: Mary Berry at the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2019 held at the NEC on November 30, 2019 in England.  (Photo by MelMedia/Getty Images)
Mary Berry at the BBC Good Food Show Winter 2019. (MelMedia/Getty Images)

“I look a bit funny when I’m rolling pastry but I have no other difficulties whatsoever. I mean, I’m not as good at sport as I was, but I was let off very lightly. I’m grateful.”

The TV chef was made a Dame in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Read more: The biggest Bake Off controversies

Other celebrities including actor Sir Ian McKellen, 81, Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith, 80, and rock and roll star Marty Wilde, 81, have also shared their experiences of being given the vaccine.

The government is on track to vaccinate around 15 million high-priority people across the UK by 15 February, including health and social care staff, the elderly and people in care homes.

Watch: Mary Berry responds to honour