When customers walk through the doors of V’s Punjabi Grill, a family-run restaurant in Gravesend in Kent, the sign above their heads says in gold-letters: cocktails, grills, events.
Now, the family may need to paint a fourth bullet point: vaccinations.
After their father, Jagtar Chopra, was hospitalised with Covid in December 2020, brothers Rav and Raj Chopra were inspired to immunise the local community from their Punjabi grill.
The brothers’ kebab shop is one of hundreds of little walk-in vaccine centres, alongside sports stadiums and shopping centres and nightclubs, that form part of the NHS’s wider vaccination programme. It opened on 10 January in a marquee attached to the restaurant and has already immunised dozens of people.
“Come down, get your jabs” to “protect everyone in society”, said Rav Chopra, who along with his brother is also a pharmacist.
Raj, 43, told the PA news agency he was inspired by the experience of his 74-year-old father, who has since fully recovered, in battling the virus.
“From a personal point of view, it was very debilitating to see Dad like that,” said Raj. “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.”
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