New TV campaign launches to encourage BAME community to get Covid vaccine

A new video campaign was broadcast across the UK on 18th February 2021 which brought together some of the country’s most notable BAME celebrities to encourage members of the community to get their Covid vaccines.

Actor Adil Ray, Cricketer Moeen Ali, Olympian Denise Lewis, and Comedian Romesh Ranganathan were just a few of several household names to feature in the national television broadcast which aired across the UK’s major TV channels ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and some Sky TV channels in order to maximise its publicity by getting the message across to as many people as possible.

The reason for the campaign is due to the fact that an alarming number of people from the BAME community are not getting vaccinated, despite research showing that they are potentially more at risk from Covid-19, with deprivation being a major factor.

Recent data has shown that BAME people were less likely to have been vaccinated than white people aged 80 and over in England alone. The information showed that white people were almost twice as likely to have been vaccinated as black people among the over 80 age group. This research is backed up by the Office for National Statistics which found only 49% of 150 black or black British adults said they would likely get the vaccine.

One of the main issues the campaign wanted to address was the concerns surrounding the cultural stigmas that some have attached to the vaccine which may be putting off many from getting it. The celebrities hoped that they could ease fears and help tackle any taboos along the way.

In an interview with the Guardian, Adil Ray, who found fame as the star of BBC comedy Citizen Khan, said: “We are in unprecedented times and the fact remains that this pandemic disproportionately affects people from ethnic minority communities.

“It’s heartening to see 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.”

Currently, the UK is one of the most diverse nations in the world, with a sizeable 13.8% of the population being from a minority ethnic background. The capital, London, has 40% of its population from a BAME background and is expected to increase by the time of the next census later this year.

The campaign is expected to have reached around 10 million people across the UK. On the same day as the broadcast, the British Asian Trust organised a special webinar, which saw the Prince of Wales lead an address on vaccine hesitancy while the Vaccine Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were also in attendance to provide expertise and advice to encourage the importance of the vaccine to help win the fight against the biggest threat to our health in a generation.