Stars bust myths in video urging people from ethnic minority communities to get COVID jab

Stars including Romesh Ranganathan, Meera Syal and Adil Ray have joined forces to counter coronavirus vaccination myths among ethnic minority communities.

Organised by Ray, the video also features Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, former Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati, cricketer Moeen Ali, and TV presenter and author Konnie Huq.

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The aim is to dispel conspiracy theories and urge people to get the COVID-19 vaccination, with Ali highlighting in the clip that “many in our community have suffered the most, largely due to our efforts on the frontline at the NHS or as key workers”.

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 or Black British groups, with 72% stating they were unlikely/very unlikely to get the jab, followed by Pakistani/Bangladeshi groups.

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

Urging people to get the vaccine, the celebrities’ video states there is no scientific evidence to suggest it will work differently on people from ethnic minorities and that it does not include pork or “any material of fetal or animal origin”.

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

Addressing one conspiracy theory about the vaccine, comedian Ranganathan says: “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.”

“This past year has been the most challenging for many of us,” says Syal. “We’ve suffered in unimaginable ways and many of us have lost our loved ones.”

Tweeting the clip, Ray said: “We all have to do something to help one another during these difficult times.”

More than 6.8 million people across the UK have now received their first dose of the vaccine.

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