A 96-year-old woman who contracted coronavirus along with her identical twin sister shortly after Christmas has died in hospital, her family have announced.
Relatives of Doris Hobday confirmed news of her death on Wednesday, just two days before she received her letter to be vaccinated.
The twins Doris and Lillian Cox from Tipton, West Midlands, were believed to be the oldest in the UK and made several appearances on national television during 2020.
A statement issued in early January said the twins were "both in shock" after testing positive despite being "inside for most of 2020, sticking to all the rules and being careful".
In a statement posted on the twins’ Facebook page, which has more than 22,000 followers, their family said: "Shortly after our last post Doris and Lil’s health deteriorated very quickly.
"We are devastated to announce that Doris didn’t make it…she passed away on Tuesday 5th January after a short stay in hospital.
"We would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Sandwell Hospital for looking after her and allowing her great niece Kerry into the ward, so she could spend the last few hours with Doris at her bedside."
Lilian had endured the "fight of her life" for two weeks after also being admitted to hospital.
The statement added: "Lil has fought so hard and I’m pleased to inform everyone that she was discharged from hospital on Monday, she was only told then of Doris’s death once she was strong enough to take the news, she is now being comforted by family."
Urging anyone who is offered a coronavirus vaccine to take up the opportunity, it continued:
"We are aware they are both 96 years old and we have been so lucky to have them in our lives for such a long time but they were both still going strong before this virus got them and both were determined to live until 100.
"Our thoughts go out to all the families who have experienced a loss through Covid, and we urge people to take this seriously.
"Doris was only a few weeks away from being safe! With her vaccine letter arriving two days after her death… if you are offered the vaccine please take it, do not refuse it… Doris didn’t get this choice!"
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan was among those who paid tribute to Doris on social media.
The GMB host tweeted: "RIP Doris Hobday, 96. One of Britain’s two oldest twins & a delightful lady.
She died from coronavirus.
"Her sister Lil got covid too but survived and is now home from hospital. My deepest condolences to her on the loss of her beloved sister."
Lilian has set up an online fundraiser in her sister’s memory to aid the Beacon Centre for the Blind, which supported Doris’s late husband.
A message posted under the appeal read: "Above is Doris holding onto her 2 favourite things her husband Ray and a half a Guinness at their 50th wedding anniversary!
"We would like to thank everyone for all their support and sending lovely messages, we ask for no flowers or cards to be sent but we want to make good out of a bad situation by raising as much money as possible in Memory of Doris for this worthy charity who’s lost so much money due to Covid over this last year."
The appeal can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/dorishobday