British entertainers are working to get more Black Britons vaccinated. KSI, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Sir Lenny Henry, David Harewood and several others have partnered with the National Health Service to produce a PSA and issue a letter that they hope will encourage Black Britons to get vaccinated.
“You have legitimate worries and concerns, we hear that. We know change needs to happen and that it’s hard to trust some institutions and authorities. But we’re asking you to trust the facts about the vaccine from our own professors, doctors, scientists involved in the vaccine’s development," the letter, put together by Sir Lenny Henry, said.
“Don’t let Black people continue to be disproportionately impacted by this terrible disease. Many in our community say they do not want to take the vaccine, much more than other groups. But the fact is we have been disproportionately affected by the virus, many of our loved ones have died. Don’t let coronavirus cost even more Black lives.”
This group of British celebrities has an uphill battle. The Office for National Statistics reports that 91.3% of white Britains over the age of 70 have been vaccinated. Black Britains within that same age range have been vaccinated at a much lower rate. This is largely due to a lack of access, past discrimination within the global healthcare system and apprehension toward vaccines. Unfortunately, those who are not vaccinated have a much higher risk of contracting the virus. Furthermore, lack of vaccination could affect someone's ability to travel or interact with others in the near future.
"We all need to take the COVID-19 jab. It’s all of us in this together. Things will slowly get back to normal. Well, what people are calling the new normal. The reality is the new normal may mean needing a vaccine to do many of the things we now take for granted," the letter states.
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