British pop legend Paul McCartney on Friday urged people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, as he celebrated the release of a new solo album crafted during this year’s lockdown.
The former Beatle, who revealed in October he had resurrected unfinished music to complete the record, said the internet had allowed so-called anti-vaxxers’ misleading messages to “take hold".
“I will (have the vaccine), and I’d like to encourage people to get it too," he told BBC radio.
“There used to be anti-vaccine people, that was OK, that was their choice.
“But with the internet now these things really take hold and so you do get these people who won’t take it."
The new album “McCartney III", released a week later than originally planned, is his third eponymous solo album.
It follows months of work at his home studio in Sussex, in southern England, on previously started and new songs.
It has all been written, produced and performed by McCartney, who has said he had not intended to release an album in 2020 until the pandemic forced him to stay at home for months.
The former Beatles frontman had been set to headline this year’s Glastonbury festival, on its 50th anniversary, before it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Britain imposed a months-long lockdown from late March as Covid-19 first swept the country, which has now seen more than 65,000 deaths due to the virus, among the worst tolls in Europe.
McCartney’s new release coincides with the 50th anniversary of his first solo endeavour, “McCartney" , released as the “Fab Four" went their separate ways in 1970. A follow-up, “McCartney II", came a decade later.
The latest collection of tracks was mostly built from live takes of McCartney on vocals and guitar or piano, before overdubbing with his bass playing and drumming.
Pictures for the album were shot by McCartney’s daughter, the photographer Mary McCartney, with additional images by his nephew Sonny McCartney and some that he took himself on his phone.
Keeping the photography in the family mirrors how the pop icon illustrated earlier solo albums, with his late wife Linda McCartney shooting the artwork for “McCartney II".
Linda also took many of the photos displayed on the gatefold cover of the original 1970 “McCartney" album.
McCartney, 78, is among the third tier of people eligible to receive the jab alongside other over-75s, and said he believed the vaccine offers Britain a way out from the doom and gloom of the COVID pandemic, The Sun said.
“The vaccine will get us out of this,” McCartney told The Sun in an interview.
“I think we’ll come through it, I know we’ll come through, and it’s great news about the vaccine. I’ll have it as soon as I’m allowed.”
(With inputs from agencies)