#ImmunityfortheCommunity: British Indian stars unite for Covid vaccine drive

#ImmunityfortheCommunity: British Indian stars unite for Covid vaccine drive

Singer-songwriter Navin Kundra and producer, presenter and performer Parle Patel are among some of the British Indian stars who have come together in a video to encourage the South Asian community to get #ImmunityfortheCommunity by taking up the Covid-19 vaccine.

In the video, the media figures and medics each hold up a sign with the hashtag #ImmunityfortheCommunity, and share that they have had or will be having the Covid-19 vaccine and call on those watching to get their jabs when they are invited to.

Their message is communicated in eight different languages – English, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and Sylheti.

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Great campaign

This is the latest in a series of initiatives by public figures and healthcare professionals within Britain’s South Asian communities to encourage confidence in the vaccine and dispel misinformation.

Navin Kundra said: “Vaccines are the best way to protect people from coronavirus and will help save thousands of lives. They’re the only way out of this pandemic and I’ll be taking my Covid-19 vaccine when I’m invited.”

Parle Patel added: "This is a great campaign and so important!”

The release of the #immunityforthecommunity comes as more than 33 million people in the UK have received their first dose and more than 11 million people have had their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The video comes as everyone aged 44 and over are now being invited to book their Covid-19 jab from this week as the National Health Service (NHS) vaccine programme expands further to more younger age groups.

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Vaccine uptake

Figures released last week show that vaccine uptake among ethnic minorities in England has tripled. Between 7 February and 7 April 2021, there has been an increase of 235 per cent, overtaking the national average among all ethnicities of 154 per cent.

Dr Nikki Kanani, medical director of primary care for NHS England, recently told a Downing Street briefing that vaccine uptake among Britain’s ethnic minority community have made really significant progress in recent weeks.

“Since we set out our plan in February, uptake from all ethnic minority backgrounds has tripled, outpacing the national average across all ethnicities,” said Dr Kanani.

“The progress is a direct result of a combination of NHS teams who know and understand their communities, community and faith leaders who’ve worked really closely with us, practical considerations about Ramadan and other local nuances and really strong high profile backing from high profile people,” she said.

The NHS message is that life-saving Covid-19 vaccinations can be booked without an NHS number and regardless of an individual’s immigration status – this will not be checked.

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