New film to encourage vaccine take up as confidence in the jab grows

A new short film about the COVID-19 vaccine is encouraging people to speak to their friends and family about their vaccination experience as the latest ONS figures show vaccine hesitancy among those from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds has halved in the past few months.

The film features members of the public who have had the vaccine, sharing their motivations for getting vaccinated – which include losing close friends to COVID-19 and protecting themselves against serious illness.

Figures show those from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds are still among those least likely to come back for their second dose, however the latest data shows that confidence in the vaccines continues to increase among minority groups. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) vaccine hesitancy has halved in the past few months among Asian and Asian British people from 16% in February to 7% in May 2021.

The members of the public featured in the video, all of whom initially had some reservations about getting the vaccine, were motivated to speak about their choice to get the vaccine in response to the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on the South Asian community and to help encourage confidence in the jab. 

Kiran Virdee, a personal trainer, who appears in the video, said: “The reason I decided to take the vaccine is because I was a sufferer myself of COVID-19. I want to live longer to be around my grandchildren and my friends and family.”

Dr Amir Khan, NHS GP said “It’s really important that people come back and get their second dose, as you need two doses of the vaccine for the best protection against COVID-19.”

Rani Daljit Malik, who appears in the video, said: “The reason I took the vaccine was because I lost a lot of loved ones around me, so I decided to take it so I could protect myself and my loved ones as well.”

The UK’s vaccine rollout has already saved thousands of lives. Data from PHE’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and deaths, saving over 14,000 lives and preventing over 42,000 hospitalisations in England.

Vaccinated people are far less likely to get COVID-19 with symptoms. Vaccinated people are even more unlikely to get serious COVID-19, to be admitted to hospital, or to die from it and there is growing evidence that they are less likely to pass the virus to others.

More than 43 million people in the UK have received their first dose and around 31 million people have had their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including over two million people from the South Asian community but more people need to come forward so everyone can benefit from the protection the vaccines offer.

Currently everyone aged 18 and over in England, those with underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk and carers can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

People who have been invited by their GP or the NHS to get the COVID-19 vaccine – including those who have previously declined – can arrange their vaccination by logging on to the national booking service at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. 

COVID-19 vaccinations can be booked without an NHS number and regardless of an individual’s immigration status – this will not be checked.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination

ENDS

Note to Editors:

Vaccine hesitancy is higher among ethnic minorities in the UK according to the ONS. Hesitancy has been declining as the vaccine rollout has continued, according to the ONS: vaccine hesitancy has halved in the past few months among ethnic minority groups, from 22% in February to 11% in May. It has also more than halved among Asian/Asian British people as well, from 16% to 7% over the same period of time. 

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