Covid-19 wildfire in Tower Hamlets inevitable if vaccination reluctance not tackled

No gentle intro today. Fact is that the number of people from ethnic minorities deciding not to have the Covid-19 vaccine is way too high. This is despite the very same group being at higher risk from Covid-19.

Result? Even more of our family, loved ones, friends and neighbours will die because coronavirus will run amok.

This could make all what has gone before look like a minor scratch.

Virus will go through communities like wildfire

“If one particular community remains unvaccinated, then the virus will seek them out and it will go through that community like wildfire,” said Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP.

People cannot be forced to take the vaccine. Their concerns have to be listened to and answers given to the questions they ask.

If people hear satisfactory answers to their questions then usually they will quite happily get vaccinated.

No time to spare to build trust

Trust has to be built up over time, it is not something that can be unpacked from a box and doled out. Problem here being that there is no time to spare.

Individuals need to hear reasons why the Covid-19 vaccine is safe from people they already know and trust such as their GP, community leaders, mosque imams or other faith leaders.

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has called for a high-profile campaign featuring faith leaders and prominent figures from ethnic minority communities after its own survey showed that many vaccine hesitant patients belonged to those communities that have been worst hit by the virus.

The RCGP believes that this could create ‘swathes across the country’ where COVID-19 may remain a threat long after it’s necessary.

The failure of local authorities who think that it is enough to publish vaccine information fronted by a bald middle-class white politician or two will quantified in the death tolls among their ethnic minority groups.

Vaccine concerns skewed heavily towards BAME communities

Nadhim Zahawi MP

Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Zahawi said overall COVID-19 vaccine acceptance was very high with 85% of adults very likely to get the jab but the remaining 15% “skew heavily towards BAME communities and especially Afro-Caribbean, black communities and of course other Asian and BAME communities”.

Which is not good if you live in an area with a demographic like that of Tower Hamlets. In fact it is a looming disaster.

Individuals who have doubts about the vaccines should not take all the blame for this, the government has failed ethnic minorities once again.

Where’s the ethnic minority Covid-19 data?

This time round it is because, despite various promises, there has been no vaccination ethnicity data published by the government / NHS England / Office of National Statistics / Public Health England.

No surprises really as, guess what, there has been no disaggregated (split) ethnicity data published by the government / NHS England / Office of National Statistics / Public Health England.

Can you spot the trend?

First off those in charge do not publish disaggregated ethnicity data for Covid-19 cases and deaths then they fail to do the same for vaccine take-up.

Which means that not only do we not know where and when Covid-19 has already struck ethnic minorities hardest we now do not know where and when people are not taking up the offer of vaccination.

Speaking to the New Scientist, Dr. Habib Naqvi MBE, director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory said that “Live, real-time data on vaccination uptake by ethnicity should be made available and published so that we can better meet the needs of our diverse communities,”

Live, real-time data on vaccination uptake by ethnicity would be amazing, but at the moment any data on vaccination uptake by ethnicity would be good.

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