I recently returned to the UK after being in Bangladesh for a few months.
Whilst there, I was made aware of the UK daily death rate in January averaging over 1000. Sadly, the total figure now stands at 121,747.
At the same time, the very positive news was that the NHS was combatting Covid-19 by speedily vaccinating the nation, a staggering 18 million have been given the injection to date.
As pleasing as this was to hear, recent data shows that amongst Black, Asian and Mixed-Ethnicity people there was significantly less take up of the vaccination. It was 71.5% between 8 December and 14 February, compared to 85.6% in the white ethnic group.
Many leading medical people in the UK are really concerned that fewer BAME people are getting the covid vaccine. Social media has not helped this crisis.
I had my first dose of the vaccination and can report that the procedure was straightforward, professional, painless and very easy. As for all the scare stories and disinformation being circulated, I dismiss them and full heartedly back the vaccine’s importance in helping our communities get back to normality and that it genuinely saves lives. Please no if’s or but’s, just attend when that appointment is offered to you, it is the only way forward for us and our families.
We are in unprecedented times at the moment with this pandemic and the fact remains that this virus disproportionately affects people from ethnic minority communities.
We must all play our part in helping members of our community that are scared or resistant to taking the vaccine. As a matter of the utmost importance, please engage and encourage one another to do what is best.
Wishing you all happier and healthier times.
Bajloor Rashid MBE
UKBCCI Director & Former (Founding) President