TV personality, chef, actress and singer Rustie Lee has spoken about her COVID-19 vaccination experience and is encouraging older people, especially those with a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic heritage, to have their jab when invited.

Rustie Lee
Rustie Lee

‘’I believe that by now you must all be as fed up with the lockdown as I am. No leisurely shopping, no cinemas, no trips to the pub to meet up with friends for a drink and a meal, no visits from anyone, not even your family and, as of now, no concrete end yet in sight.

“We all need to do our part to bring the country and life back to normal. That is why I was happy to have my first jab at the start of the month. Trust me, I am a baby when it comes to having injections. I wind myself up for days for the annual flu jab. But this time it was different. I had to do this not only to protect myself but my family and everyone I might get in contact with.”

Morning and reality TV star Rustie has teamed up with charity Age UK to encourage older people and those from Black and other Minority Ethnic groups to have the vaccination.

While the NHS is doing an incredible job, having vaccinated more than 24 million people and counting, official figures show that only seven in 10 eligible Black older people have been vaccinated so far, compared to more than nine in 10 eligible white older people. This is very problematic as we know that Black and Asian older people are more likely to test positive for COVID-19 and to become seriously ill and die from the virus.

“We lost a lot of lives during this pandemic and we now have the chance to end this. So please do your part to help.”

Sharing her own vaccination experience to allay fears, Rustie said: “When I arrived at the vaccination centre, I was glad to see how professional all the staff were. And not just professional, but genuinely nice. The nurses took their time to answer my questions and when it came to the injection, I felt absolutely nothing. I was surprised how quickly it was over.

“It is now about three weeks since my jab and I can honestly say that I’ve had no complications or side effects.

“I would ask anyone, especially my Caribbean people to go and get vaccinated as soon as you can. We lost a lot of lives during this pandemic and we now have the chance to end this. So please do your part to help.”

There are now a variety of ways to access a vaccine and, at the moment, anyone over the age of 55 can book directly though the NHS website or by calling 119, as well as by responding to an invitation from their local GP.

It’s been a really tough year, full of lockdowns, restrictions and loss. Having the vaccine when you are invited is your way of doing your bit to help start the process of going back to some sort of normal life.

Visit the NHS website to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine.

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