It’s called vaccine hesitancy, and it particularly affects black people and people from other ethnic minorities. It’s a concern that they are at greater risk from Covid 19 and also from the vaccines.
This video (from the Department of Health and Social Care) talks about some of those concerns –
So, as our team has been stepping up to be vaccinated (more than half the team by the end of last week) some members have had to think harder.
Jean Reid, our Head of Supported Housing, reflects on getting the jab.
“After much consideration I took the decision to have the covid vaccine. It was all over the news that hospitals were at breaking point and from a personal point of view, I have not seen some of my family and friends for nearly a year and had found this difficult and upsetting. Also, I love my holidays abroad……
“When news of the vaccine came out, I had the same deep concerns that other people in BAME communities had regarding the side effects. There was talk that this type of vaccine was not medically made up in a way which would suit my ethnicity and the side effect from having the vaccine could be massive. There were also discussions within the church stating that from a religious point of view having the vaccine wasn’t the right thing to do.
“I must admit it was quite an overwhelming and emotional experience going to the Black Country Museum for the vaccine, however, the process of getting vaccinated was quick and easy and I knew I needed to do this to protect myself, my loved ones and the community around me.
“My temperature was checked when entering the museum, then I had an initial medical check using the forms you print off when booking your appointment slot. I was explained what side effects to expect – sore arm, headache and nausea. There are that many health workers around you can ask as many questions as you want, everyone was willing to help and put you at ease. The vaccine felt like a pinch at the time which lasted for a few seconds.
“After the jab, there’s a 15-minute monitoring period where I was told to sit in the car for this period, I have to say the whole process ran smoothly.
“Thankfully, I have no symptoms at all and I continued my day as normal, in fact by the end of the day I almost forgot having the vaccine.”
Thank you Jean – the vaccine is helping to protect us all and, hopefully, it won’t be too long before you get to go on holiday again!
Jean is not alone. There’s fellow housing boss Llewellyn Graham from our Birmingham neighbours at Nehemiah
Our CEO Llewellyn Graham, who's also a practicing minister of religion, is pleased to have taken the #COVIDVaccine to protect himself and others. As a #BAME community and faith leader, he wanted us to share this photo with the message that the vaccine is safe. #TakeTheVaccine pic.twitter.com/wyQlg7lbXK
— Nehemiah Housing (@NehemiahHousing) February 16, 2021
Paulette Hamilton – a councillor in the West Midlands responsible for health and social care
I have been supporting the vaccine roll out and am now a vaccinator. I have received my first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
I felt no pain, and it took a matter of seconds. I met some lovely people at the vaccine centre! @JaneRockHouse @healthybrum @LGA_Labour pic.twitter.com/ffhhdYzbr8
— Paulette Hamilton (@PauletteHamilto) February 16, 2021
The Head of Immunisation for Public Health England addresses general questions about the safety of the vaccines…
Our Head of Immunisation, Dr Mary Ramsay, explains the vaccine safety testing process: pic.twitter.com/m5fMup4fsa
— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) February 17, 2021
Celebrities including actors Adil Ray and Meera Syal, as well as cricketer Moeen Ali and presenter Konnie Huq, set out how there is no evidence that the vaccine works differently for people from ethnic minorities.
And also MP’s
— Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) January 27, 2021