"I'm thankful as being BAME, I'm in a high-risk group."
Miss England winner and doctor Bhasha Mukherjee has received her first of two Covid-19 jabs so she can continue to help save lives on the NHS frontline.
The 25-year-old returned from India to the UK to answer the government’s call for retired and junior doctors in April 2020.
She has been working throughout the pandemic treating patients at Boston Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire and Derby Royal Hospital.
Dr Mukherjee received her Pfizer vaccination and even posed for a selfie with her nurse so she could document the moment she received the potentially lifesaving jab.
She said: “It’s good to know I’m protected and I’m sure my colleagues feel the same.
“When I walked over to my allocated nurse, I asked nervously if I could have a photo taken because I wanted to cherish the moment.
“She told me I was the first one to ask for a photo so far but of course I could have one.
“I’m thankful as being BAME, I’m in a high-risk group. I was so excited but also nervous. I was jumping on my seat before I got jabbed.
“My colleagues and I found out just days before that we would be receiving the vaccine this week.
“The nurse giving me my injection told me to sit still or the photo would come out blurry.
“The gentleman taking the photo did a cheeky selfie shot with us all in and we all had a laugh.
“I then asked for the customary sticker and the lovely nurse said, ‘Oh you are needy’ before chuckling and handing me the sticker.
“It didn’t hurt and after a few hours, I even did a Zoom home workout, press-ups and all, to celebrate. I have been perfectly well since.”
After having her first jab, Dr Mukherjee has endorsed the vaccine’s safety among ethnic minority groups.
The spread of fake news has led to ethnic minority people becoming reluctant to take the vaccine. However, the Miss England winner has ensured it is safe.
She added: “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.”
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel reinforced the message. She said:
“I 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.
“This 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.”
Dr Mukherjee is the longest-serving winner of Miss England after Covid-19 cancelled the 2020 finals.
Despite the crisis, Dr Mukherjee has managed to juggle her Miss England duties with work.
She said: “In the summer we had far fewer positive Covid cases – but now suddenly it is a different story.
“We’re seeing more asymptomatic patients testing positive and more people coming in for different problems who turn out to have the virus.
“So it has certainly been a challenging time, I’m in the urological surgery department as well as the Covid ward.
“Juggling that with Miss England duties can be tricky – but I think I’ve managed to find the balance.”