COVID Vaccination Awareness

BLACKBURN GROUP DISPELLING COVID VACCINE MYTHS

One Voice is releasing a series of videos aimed at promoting COVID-19 vaccination programme among the South Asian heritage communities of Blackburn.

‘Dispelling the Myths’ will be launched via social networks by One Voice Blackburn and will feature local health experts, religious leaders and vaccinators. The videos will challenge some of the misconceptions advanced in communities about the safety of the vaccine, alongside religious concerns.

Dispelling the Myth is supported and funded by Near Neighbours. The Near Neighbours CPVID Relief grants support communities who have been affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

One Voice Blackburn has a history of delivering key health messages to the South Asian and Arab heritage communities. The organisation has tackled areas such as dementia, organ donation and mental health. One Voice Blackburn conducted a COVID-19 awareness campaign in the summer of 2020.

Recent research shows that members of the South Asian heritage are most likely to abstain from taking the new vaccinations. According to some reports, including GP online, there have been between 20 and 30 per cent ‘Did Not Attends’ among the BAME community compared to 2/3 per cent with other sections of society in the UK.

Covid-19 has disproportionately affected ethnic minority groups in developed countries. In the UK, people of black ethnicity have had the highest diagnosis rates.

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus. In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local vaccination centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres, such as Blackburn Cathedral.

Local GP, Dr. P Muzaffar, who is featured in the video says,

“Many people have asked me if the vaccine is safe because it has been developed so quickly. My response is that the greatest medical minds have got together throughout the world to create these vaccines. The world has become one big research laboratory in the last 10 months working around the clock to give us a way out of the pandemic. All vaccines are safe to use.”

Maulana Rafiq Sufi, Lancashire Council of Mosques Chair, believes it is imperative to take the vaccine.

“The vaccine is completely halal (permissible in Islam). The Islamic scholars have decreed that all three developed vaccines are halal. I would encourage everyone who is given the opportunity to receive the vaccine, please take it.”

One Voice Blackburn health lead Nazia Khan feels an awareness programme has become essential,

“We have all been subjected to negative social media messages about the vaccination process. We felt it was the right time to offer some real facts about the programme from the safety of the COVID jabs, to the religious clearance being provided by scholars. We have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of knowledgeable and articulate individuals coming forward to promote the vaccine to our communities.”