Broadcasters air video urging ethnic minority communities to get Covid-19 jab

Tom Horton
·2-min read

A video starring Adil Ray, Beverley Knight, Romesh Ranganathan and Denise Lewis – which urges members of ethnic minority communities to get vaccinated against coronavirus – has been broadcast on television.

The clip was played simultaneously on ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV and a number of Sky channels on Thursday at 9.56pm.

The BBC, whose charter prevents it from airing the campaign video, featured information relating to the video throughout the day.

The video begins with the words: “If you could save someone’s life… would you?”

TV presenter Ray, singer Knight, comedian Ranganathan and former athlete Lewis are joined by a number of other famous faces in the video.

Historian David Olusoga, England cricketer Moeen Ali, writer Konnie Huq, actor Sanjeev Bhaskar and actress Meera Syal also feature.

In the video, Lewis said: “It is very, very rare for vaccines to have a long-term side effect, but what we do know is that Covid-19’s long-term implications are deadly.”

In a rebuke to a conspiracy theory about the vaccine, Ranganathan said: “There’s no chip or tracker in the vaccine to keep watching where you go.

“Your mobile phone actually does a much better job of that.”

Sentebale Audi Concert 2019 – London
Denise Lewis (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Olusoga added: “You may not always trust what you hear and what you see, but you can trust the vaccine.”

More than 15 million people in the UK have received a coronavirus jab.

Ray said in a statement: “We are in unprecedented times and the fact remains this pandemic disproportionately effects people from ethnic minority communities.

“It’s heartening to see all the major broadcasters come together in an equally unprecedented television broadcast at this crucial time. An indication of how serious this situation is.

“We must all engage and encourage one another to do the right thing.

“The message is simple; take the vaccine, save lives.”

TV Choice Awards 2017 – London
Adil Ray (Ian West/PA)

A similar video was previously shared by Ray on social media, however it has now been adapted for television.

BBC director-general Tim Davie said: “Vaccinations will make a vital difference.

“That’s why the issues raised by this film are so incredibly important.

“It is crucial that everyone knows the truth about vaccines.

“We know there is lots of misinformation online and elsewhere.

“That’s why the BBC will be looking at the issues raised so extensively.”

ITV CEO Carolyn McCall said: “Encouraging take up of the vaccine will save lives.

“That’s why ITV has worked with the other broadcasters to create a unique ‘roadblock’ simultaneous transmission so that this message is delivered to the most people at the same time.”