Many BME groups do not trust the vaccine because of historical institutional racism, with hostile environmental policies over the last 15 years having had a detrimental impact on their relationship with state institutions.
To address this mistrust we urgently need the Department of Health to provide information to BME communities specific to each of the three vaccines that are licensed in the UK, to reassure patients concerns.
The government and healthcare system must immediately invest in culturally sensitive interventions to debunk the myths and misinformation relating to the vaccine. This lack of trust and confidence in the vaccination programme amongst our diverse communities must be immediately reversed to avoid a further widening of ethnic health inequalities.
Labour MP challenges Prime Minister on structural racism on the impact of COVID on BAME communities
Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, challenging the Prime Minister at PMQs on the number of Covid-19 fatalities from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, said:
“Doctors, researchers, experts, campaigners and my constituents (of whom just under two thirds are from BAME backgrounds, including a large Bangladeshi population) – have all observed the Covid-19 pandemic disproportionately affecting BAME communities.
The Royal College of GPs have even requested these communities are prioritised for vaccine rollout.
Will the Prime Minister finally recognise that this disparity is as a result of structural racism?
And can he outline what his Government are doing to address this issue?”
- Royal College of GPs asks Health Secretary to explain rationale for not including BAME patients in Covid-19 vaccination priority list: https://www.rcgp.org.uk/about-us/news/2020/december/rcgp-asks-health-secretary-to-explain-rationale-for-not-including-bame-patients.aspx