• Friday, May 20, 2022

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Pharmacist brothers offer ‘Jabs with Kebabs’ to encourage Covid vaccine uptake

Members of the public queue outside the newly-set up Wembley Stadium vaccination centre to receive their Covid-19 booster shot at a mass vaccination event in London. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shilpa Sharma

A pair of pharmacist brothers, who also own a popular restaurant in Kent, have started an innovative initiative ‘Jabs with Kebabs’ to encourage their community in England to come forward and take the Covid-19 vaccines.

Rav and Raj Chopra, who own V’s Punjabi Grill, an Indian restaurant in Gravesend, established the walk-in vaccine site after their father, Jagtar Chopra, became unwell with Covid-19 last year.

The duo is among thousands to volunteer for the National Health Service (NHS) vaccine programme.

Talking to the PA news agency, Raj said he was inspired by the experience of his father, who got infected with the virus and has fully recovered since then.

“From a personal point of view, it was very debilitating to see Dad like that,” said Raj Chopra. “It got everyone’s emotions in play.

“To see it hit home so close to our hearts, it was a very tough pill – pardon the pun – to take. However, every cloud has a silver lining and it’s inspired us to really emphasise the job that we do, help the community and help out the fellow citizens in our home town and really try and protect as many people as we can.”

Praising the initiative, Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and deputy lead for the NHS Covid vaccination programme, said: “We continue to see incredible progress in the NHS Covid vaccination programme, with people still coming forward every day for their first dose, their second dose, their booster dose, and I am really proud of all our teams who are still being so creative, trying to make sure that the vaccine reaches the people who really need it.

“One of our fantastic initiatives over the last couple of weeks has been at V’s Punjabi Grill, where brothers who are pharmacists and also run a grill restaurant have set up shot outside of their restaurant, offering food alongside their vaccinations.

“So they’re just trying to be as creative as possible making sure that people get that life-saving protection.”

Last week, prime minister Boris Johnson informed the House of Commons that more than 36 million Covid-19 booster jabs had been delivered, with over 90 percent of over-60s now given a third dose.

Alongside this information, Johnson announced the lifting of most Covid-19 restrictions in England from January 27.

Eastern Eye

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