COVID-19: Black MPs unite in video to encourage BAME communities to vaccinate

·2-min read

Black MPs from various parties have shared stories of losing loved ones to COVID-19 to try and increase the number of people from minority backgrounds getting vaccinated.

Conservative and Labour politicians made a video to "unite against the spread of vaccine misinformation" and tell people it is safe, said the Government Equalities Office.

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Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said he is concerned the take-up of the jab might be lower in BAME communities after a document released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) found hesitancy was highest in black ethnic groups, with 72% stating they were unlikely/very unlikely to get the jab, followed by people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds.

Adults in minority ethnic groups are less likely to receive vaccines than those in white groups by between 10-20%, the report said.

In the clip tweeted by the MPs, Labour's David Lammy talks of losing his uncle to the virus, while Tory MP James Cleverly speaks of his cousin dying with COVID-19.

Labour's former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott says MPs "don't agree all the time" and her Labour colleague Dawn Butler adds: "But on taking the vaccine, we do."

Another Labour MP, Clive Lewis, says: "We understand the genuine history of mistrust some black people will rightfully feel."

And Conservative MP Adam Afriyie says the vaccine has been "robustly tested by some of the world's best scientists".

It ends with a series of politicians declaring: "When it's my turn, I will be taking up the vaccine."

MPs Kwasi Kwarteng, Chi Onwurah, Claudia Webbe, and Dawn Butler also feature in the video.

Earlier this week British Asian celebrities - including comedian Romesh Ranganathan and cricketer Moeen Ali - made a similar video urging people to get the vaccine.