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The current Miss England titleholder has received her first dose of the coronavirus vaccination so she can continue work on the NHS front line.

Dr Bhasha Mukherjee, 24, cut short her charity work trip to India when she heard the government’s call for retired and junior doctors back in April last year.

She has since been working 12 hour shifts, often seven days a week, throughout the pandemic treating patients at Boston Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire and Derby Royal Hospital.

This week, the doctor is “grateful” to have received her first dose of the Pfizer vaccination.

“"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 as 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. 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."”

Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee

The 24-year-old doctor, from Derby, has been working in Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital throughout the pandemic.

Bhasha became the longest-serving winner in the Miss England’s 92-year history in October last year after Covid-19 scuppered the 2020 finals.

Crowned in July 2019, Bhasha was the nation’s first South Asian Miss England.

The doctor admitted the crisis has been a far cry from the glitz and glamour of beauty pageants but has managed to juggle work with her Miss England duties.

“It's been an honour to continue serving my country during the Covid pandemic as well as being able to do it as Miss England. There's no better time for me to be Miss England while helping England at this time of need. It has been tough for everyone and while I was doing my charity work abroad I just wanted to be back home helping my colleagues. I've still been doing plenty of charity work remotely and being able to do that and serve the nation at the same time has been really special.

It's a shame the Miss England contest was postponed again but I'm delighted to be their longest-serving winner. It's bitter-sweet in a way as the circumstances aren't ideal, it's hard to celebrate when you're seeing Covid numbers rising in your hospital.

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.”

Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee

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