Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat MPs with South Asian heritage have today come together to urge Britain’s South Asian communities to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
Coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on the UK’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Official statistics show Black and South Asian people are twice as likely to die from coronavirus as white people.
In spite of the risk Covid-19 poses to South Asian communities, recent surveys have predicted there will be low take-up of the vaccine among these communities. A recent poll, commissioned by the Royal Society of Public Health, suggested just under half of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people would refuse the vaccine. This low take-up is, in part, a result of the significant misinformation being spread among South Asians about the vaccine. Unfortunately, some of the misinformation being spread is religiously targeted with messages falsely claiming the vaccines contain animal product.
Inspired by last week’s video from Black MPs from parties across Parliament, this video is intended to counter the misinformation among South Asian communities regarding the vaccine. As leaders in their communities, MPs in this video hope it will reassure all British South Asians feel safe and confident to get the Covid-19 vaccine when they are called to do so.
Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton said:
“The last year has been so difficult in many ways for all communities but the light is finally shining at the end of the tunnel now that we have a Covid-19 vaccine. It is so important that we do not allow misinformation to stop our communities from getting vaccinated.”
Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden said:
“Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted our families and communities from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Covid-19 vaccines are safe and approved, and protect us and our loved ones. We must not allow misinformation to deter our communities from keeping safe- and that means taking the Covid-19 vaccine.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
“This unprecedented pandemic has caused heartache to so many people across the world, particularly those from BAME backgrounds who have been disproportionately affected by tragedy. Vaccines give us hope of a brighter future and will be the way out of this pandemic. The UK is leading the way with more than 9.6 million doses already administered.
“But uptake is lower among ethnic minorities, including people from South Asia, and I am calling on everybody to get the vaccine when it is your turn - it could save your life. I want to reassure you the vaccine has been widely tested across a range of different ages and ethnic groups and meets the robust standards of safety and quality of the medicines regulator.”