13th Apr, 2021

Coventry nurse who gave World's first vaccine makes plea to ethnic minorities to have the jab

THE HISTORY-making nurse who administered the world’s first Covid vaccination has called on people from black, Asian and other ethnic minorities not to miss out on their jab.

May Parsons, who is from Coventry and worked in the NHS for 17 years, said the battle was far from over.

She said: “ I am involved in the national drive to promote the vaccination to my BAME colleagues, who are as the studies have shown disproportionately affected by Covid.

“I ask you to please have the vaccine, if you are eligible, when it’s your turn to have it. It will protect you and those you love and care about.

“Please stick to the government guidelines. Until everyone that can have the vaccine has it, we will still have to continue to follow the rules.

“Everyone is ready to get out of the pandemic and stop its devastation but we need your help. Let’s all play our part, save lives and help the NHS.”

The former Coventry University student gave Margaret Keenan, then 90, the first vaccine at University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire on December 8, kickstarting the NHS’ national vaccination programme that has now seen more than 25million people receive their first dose and 1.7million get their second.

But the take-up rate among black, Asian and other ethnic minorities are lower across the UK.

May, who now manages the Covid wards at the University Hospital, added: “At the start it felt like I was going to war.

“I was scared but I also knew that my skills and experience were needed more than ever. It has not stopped me from volunteering and doing all I can to help.”

Visit www.coventry.ac.uk to find out more about the University of Coventry’s healthcare courses.

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