Number 10 has hired a PR firm to boost uptake of the jab among black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) groups, it was claimed today.
London-based Multicultural Marketing Consultancy (MMC) has been tasked with clamping down on vaccine misinformation and improving jab hesitancy among minorities, reports.
MMC prides itself on its ‘ability to connect with communities’ at a ‘grassroots level’ through media and other channels, according to the company’s website.
The firm has previously worked on No10 campaigns to increase awareness about prostate cancer in black men and female genital mutilation.
SAGE — number 10’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies — has warned low uptake among minority groups poses a ‘significant risk’ to Britain’s vaccine drive.
The advisory smm provider panel has blamed years of ‘structural and institutional racism and discrimination’ for vaccine scepticism among BAME communities, mainly black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people.
It comes on the back of a major UK survey which found 72 per cent of black Britons were ‘unlikely’ or ‘very unlikely’ to get the Covid vaccines.
The paper presented by SAGE included the results of a survey which showed a shocking 71.8 per cent of Black people said they were unlikely to get a Covid-19 vaccine if offered one
Joanmes de-Gallerie receiving a vaccine at the Nightingale facility at the Excel Centre, London
A health worker administers an injection of a COVID-19 vaccine inside a former nightclub that has been turned into a NHS vaccine centre in Batchwood Hall, in St Albans
SAGE has blamed ‘structural and institutional racism and discrimination’ for vaccine scepticism among BAME communities as a recent survey found 72 per cent of black people were unlikely to have the Covid jab
MMC declined to comment when contacted by MailOnline.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘Vaccines are the most effective way to protect people from coronavirus and will save thousands of lives, and we are working with a range of partners to communicate to as many as people as possible.
‘All vaccines go through a robust clinical trial process and are only given to patients once they have met the strict safety, effectiveness and quality standards of the UK’s medicines regulator, the MHRA.
‘The NHS will provide advice and information at every possible opportunity, including working closely with BAME communities, to support those receiving a vaccine and to anyone who has questions about the vaccination process.’
The shocking revelation that 72 per cent of black people would turn down the Covid vaccine came from the UK Household Longitudinal Study on Monday.
Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Eastern European groups also said they were unwilling to take the Covid jab, while women, younger people and those with lower levels of education were also more hesitant than others.
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The findings have sparked concern among GPs who are now calling on No10 to begin a public health campaign that encourages black people in particular to receive a coronavirus vaccine.
Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: ‘We are concerned that recent reports show that people within BAME communities are not only more likely to be adversely affected by the virus but also less likely to accept the Covid vaccine, when offered it.
‘As such, where appropriate, we’re calling for public health communications to be tailored to patients in BAME communities, to reassure them about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine and ultimately encourage them to come forward for their vaccination when they are invited for it.’
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi fears Covid-19 will ‘quickly infect’ communities who avoid getting the jab, as false information plays on some cultures’ religious concerns
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-69be3020-59fa-11eb-ab71-d577faa2438c" website hires PR firm to boost Covid vaccine uptake among BAME groups