LONDON: First Indian-origin Miss England
and frontline National Health Service (NHS) doctor Bhasha Mukherjee has
received her first of the two COVID-19 jabs and endorsed the safety of the
vaccines being rolled out among those most at risk from coronavirus.
25-year-old beauty queen and a medical professional has been working on the
COVID frontlines at Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire and Royal Derby Hospital
in eastern England ever since she flew back from a humanitarian tour of India
at the peak of the pandemic in April 2020.
healthcare ambassador for the British Indian community, the junior doctor has
been active in spreading safety messages among ethnic minority groups which
have been acknowledged as being at a higher risk from the deadly virus.
good to know I’m protected and I’m sure my colleagues feel the same,” said
thankful as being BAME [black, Asian, minority ethnic], I’m in a high-risk
group. I feel so grateful to be in the position to have received the vaccine
when millions are in the waiting line across the globe. My prayers are with
everyone who’s waiting patiently at home, including my own family members who I
hope will get their vaccines soon too,” she said.
reference to no adverse side effects from the jab, she added: “After a few
hours, I even did a Zoom home workout and press-ups, all to celebrate.”
NHS accelerated vaccination programme, the Pfizer/Biontech and Astrazeneca
vaccines to immunise against COVID–19 are being administered to the priority
groups of over-70s, care home residents and staff, and NHS workers at the
frontline of combatting coronavirus.
“My colleagues and I found
out just days before that we would be receiving it this week. I was so excited
and nervous I was jumping on my seat before I got jabbed. The nurse giving me
my injection told me to sit still or the photo would come blurry,” said
Mukherjee, the longest-serving Miss England after she was crowned in 2019.
working on the NHS frontline, she has been carrying on with her Miss England
pageant-related duties virtually and has also become an ambassador for the
eco-friendly feminine hygiene brand Plastfree Pads.
efforts to spread awareness around the safety of COVID-19 vaccines follow
reports of reluctance among the UK’s ethnic minority communities in taking up
the jabs. Temples and mosques have joined a community-led drive to combat fake
news and disinformation surrounding the vaccines.
Secretary Priti Patel reiterated the government’s message around their efficacy
during a Downing Street briefing on Thursday evening.
want to take this moment and opportunity to counter some of the disinformation
about the vaccine, especially any messages targeted at an ethnic minority
background,” the senior Indian-origin Cabinet minister said.
vaccine is safe for us all. It is safe for you and your family. It is our best
chance of beating this virus. So I urge everyone across our wonderfully diverse
country when the time comes to keep everyone safe,” she said.
latest data shows that the NHS has been vaccinating people at the rate of 200
jabs per minute and over 4 million people have been vaccinated across the UK
since the programme rollout began last month.