A junior doctor in the U.K. currently serving as Miss England has opened up about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, voicing her gratitude for the historic inoculation that will protect her on the front lines.
Dr. Bhasha Mukherjee got candid about receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine this week, sharing her story in a new interview with South West News Service (SWNS.)
"It's good to know I'm protected and I'm sure my colleagues feel the same," the 24-year-old said. "I was so excited but also nervous. I was jumping on my seat before I got jabbed."
"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."
Mukherjee works for the National Health Service at Boston Pilgrim Hospital and Derby Royal Hospital, specializing in urological surgery and the coronavirus wards. After clocking 12-hour shifts, 7 days a week, to care for patients with COVID-19 in the spring, she said it was a blessing to be vaccinated against the viral disease less than a year later.
"I feel so grateful to be in the position to have received the vaccine when millions are in the waiting line across the globe," Mukherjee said. "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."
The junior doctor was crowned Miss England in August 2019, and will continue to reign until April 2021. Mukherjee, the first South Asian Miss England, also makes history as the longest-serving titleholder since the pageant’s inception in 1928.
The 2020 Miss England final was bumped from July 2020 to October because of the pandemic, then pushed back again to April 2021 after Miss World announced that they would also be delaying their competition until fall 2021.
The health care hero has described her extended reign as position as an "honor," acknowledging, however, it is "bittersweet" to keep her title because of the COVID-19 crisis.
"It's been an honor to continue serving my country during the COVID pandemic as well as being able to do it as Miss England," Mukherjee said. "There's no better time for me to be Miss England while helping England at this time of need."