Prince William, who tested positive for COVID-19 in April this year, is offering "huge" congratulations to Oxford researchers who have made a breakthrough with a vaccine for the dreaded disease.

After the Oxford researchers announced a vaccine that is shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 and offers a high level of protection, Prince William made a personal video call to the team to express his happiness, reports Hello! magazine.

"Well done, I'm so pleased for all of you, I really am," the 38-year-old said in the video call on Monday morning.

The video call was attended by Professor Andy Pollard, professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity; Professor Sarah Gilbert, professor of Vaccinology; and Professor Louise Richardson, vice chancellor of Oxford University. The scholars explained to William how the vaccine is based on decades of in-depth research and will be transformational in the next six months. The prince told them that he is "thrilled" they have "cracked it."

The British royal also recalled his previous visit to The University of Oxford's Vaccine Group in June, when they were conducting their research for an effective treatment. William said: "I saw it in everyone's faces back in June how much time and effort was going into this, and I could see that there was a lot of pressure on everyone, so I'm so thrilled that you've cracked it – so really well done."

The Duke of Cambridge had tested positive for the novel coronavirus in April, but his diagnosis wasn't revealed until a few weeks ago. The father-of-three reportedly kept his illness a secret as he didn't want to alarm the people who were already worried by the COVID-19 diagnosis of the heir apparent Prince Charles and PM Boris Johnson.

As the researchers have now made a breakthrough with the vaccine, Britain's administration is hoping for life to get back to normal by Easter. Health Minister Matt Hancock told BBC on Monday that they are planning to start administering the vaccine before Christmas, with the bulk of the rollout at the start of the new year.

"We hope to be able to start vaccinating next month," Hancock said about the Oxford-AstraZeneca that is said to be up to 90% effective.

"The bulk of the vaccine rollout programme will be in January, February, March. And we hope that sometime after Easter things will be able to start to get back to normal," he added.

Prince William
Britain's Prince William