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Leading BAME doctor urges others to say yes to Covid-19 vaccination

A well-known health care professional in Ipswich has pledged his confidence in the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine and is urging everyone, including other members of Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, not to be afraid of having the vaccination.

Dr Juno Jesuthasan recently received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at the town’s Ivry Street Medical Centre. He joined pharmacist Karen Howlett and physician associate James Pawsey, (pictured with Dr Jesuthasan), who both also received the vaccine and were part of the team administering vaccines at the centre.

Dr Juno is a prominent campaigner for health care equality issues, is the Prevention Lead for NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, and has been a GP in Ipswich for 31 years.

Commenting on receiving the vaccine, he said: “It’s a very sad fact that BAME communities have been so affected by Covid-19, and that their physical and mental health needs have not always been fully met.

“I can, therefore, understand why some people are not wholly enthusiastic about this vaccine and remain suspicious about its effects.

“But I urge them to embrace the Covid-19 vaccines, which have undergone thorough testing to make sure they are safe to be administered. The vaccines have the potential to bring back normality to our lives, meaning we can eventually see our families, hug our loved ones, kiss our grandchildren and simply spend time together once more. It will also allow people to eventually return to their jobs, socialise by going out eating and drinking, attend sporting and music events and do the stuff that makes for a better life.

“I have received the first dose of the vaccine and I have total confidence in its safety. I also accept that every vaccination or medication has potential risks but that the risks will be small in the vast majority of people. I say to every member of the BAME community and indeed all communities – when it’s your time to be vaccinated you’ll be contacted, please accept the offer and let’s get our lives back to normal.”

You can read more about the Covid-19 vaccination at - www.sneevaccine.org.uk

Members of the local BAME communities are encouraged to join the next virtual What Are We Missing? event on Thursday January 21 at 6 p.m. - to discuss any issues about the vaccine and vaccinations - more HERE - there will be a panel of experts including Public Health Suffolk's Stuart Keeble, Dr Juno Jesuthasan, Healthwatch Suffolk's Andy Yacoub, NHS North East Essex CCG chairman Dr Hasan Chowhan and community representatives including ISCRE's Phanuel Mutumburi.

NHS staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care, but we need the public to play their part too:

    • please don’t contact the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you;
    • when we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments at exactly the time you’re asked to, so that we can avoid queues in this cold weather;
    • and please continue to follow all the guidance in place to control the virus and save lives, even if you have already had your vaccine. Remember: hands, face, space.   

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