Black MPs share video message in bid to increase vaccine uptake

Black MPs have shared stories of losing loved ones to Covid-19 in a bid to increase the number of people getting vaccinated.

Conservative and Labour politicians made a video to “unite against the spread of vaccine misinformation” and tell people it is safe, said the Government Equalities Office.

Labour’s David Lammy talks of losing his uncle to the virus while Tory MP James Cleverly speaks of his cousin’s death with Covid-19 during the clip shared by vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

It comes after Mr Zahawi said he was concerned that vaccine take-up may be lower in ethnic minority groups.

A document released by the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) earlier this month found “marked difference existed by ethnicity, with black ethnic groups the most likely to be Covid-19 hesitant, followed by Pakistani/Bangladeshi groups”.

The report said adults in minority ethnic groups were less likely to receive vaccines than those in white groups, by between 10-20%.

Among the barriers to the vaccine uptake is the perception of risk, low confidence in the vaccine, and lack of endorsement from trusted providers and community leaders, the undated document said.

Read by several black MPs, the video message says: “We understand the fears, the anxieties, the confusion.

“We understand the genuine history of mistrust some black people will rightfully feel. Each of us has the power to protect ourselves and to help slow the transmission.”

It ends with a series of politicians declaring: “When it’s my turn, I will be taking up the vaccine.”

MPs who appear in the video include James Cleverly, Kwasi Kwarteng, Chi Onwurah, Claudia Webbe, Clive Lewis, David Lammy, Dawn Butler and Diane Abbott.