Manchester MP unites faith leaders to help raise BAME vaccination

19th Mar 2021
Manchester MP unites  faith leaders to help raise BAME vaccination

Afzal Khan MP (Credit: Richard Townshend/UK Parliament)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Member of Parliament for Manchester Gorton, Afzal Khan, united faith leaders from across Manchester in a video to encourage all communities eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine to take it.

Participants in the video aired on February 27 included Elinor Chohan, Chair of Remembering Srebrenica; Nidhi Sinha, community worker; Parkash Singh, Secretary-General of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara; Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen from Manchester Reform Synagogue; Rev Charles Kwaku-Odoi, Chief Officer of the Caribbean and African Health Network; Rev Richard Young of Holy Innocents Church in Fallowfield and Shaykha Noshin Gul, Chair of Guidance Hub.

A recent report by the Royal Society for Public Health found that 57 per cent of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine, compared with 79 per cent of white respondents.

The video comes on the back of a successful webinar hosted by Khan on February 25 on tackling vaccine hesitancy. This webinar featured speakers including Professor James Nazroo from the NHS Race & Health Observatory, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, and Zara Mohammad, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain. Earlier, this month, Afzal Khan also spearheaded a cross-party initiative to bring together South Asian MPs from across Parliament to drive vaccine uptake within Britain’s South Asian communities.

In a statement to The Muslim News Khan said, “I remain deeply concerned about the low vaccine uptake among Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Much of the disinformation being spread plays off people’s faith, for example, myths about the vaccine containing pork, undermining confidence in Muslim and Jewish communities. Faith leaders have a vital role to play in the battle against vaccine disinformation, I am, therefore, pleased to be able to bring local faith leaders in Manchester together in this video to reassure our communities the vaccine is safe for everyone.”

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