Politics

MPs of Asian heritage unite for video to encourage vaccine take up


The cross-party film has been rushed out to counter vaccine hesitancy – and follows evidence that Londoners of Asian origin have been hardest hit in the latest surge of infections, both in illness and deaths.

Mr Javid is seen telling viewers: “My mum has had the vaccine and I will be getting the vaccine when it is my turn.” Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy says: “All the available Covid-19 vaccines are safe for everyone.”

Tooting MP Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow care minster who is an A&E doctor, assures viewers: “The vaccines have all been rigorously tested and declared safe by doctors around the world.”

Seema Malhotra, MP for Feltham & Heston, challenges myths propagated by anti-vax cranks, saying: “So let’s clear things up.” 

The MPs took turns to read out messages.

Labour MP Ms Malhotra explained: “Anti-vax messages are so clearly being targeted at minority communities and we need to come together with an alternative message that needs to be heard.

“We have all been feeling this is a real issue in our communities and we need different kind of messaging to break through. “This is something practical MPs can do. It’s a really important start and a powerful message to continue to build on.”

A similar video has been made by black MPs including Labour’s David Lammy and Conservative James Cleverly.

Lives could be saved by the campaign because Black and Asian people have suffered the greatest fatalities in the pandemic. 

Earlier this week, London’s public health chief revealed research showing Asians were hit harder than any other group in the current second wave.

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Prof Kevin Fenton said: “This disease from its inception has never treated Londoners equally.”

Other MPs taking part include Ealing Southall MP Virendra Sharma, Poplar & Limehouse MP Apsana Begum and Slough MP Tan Singh Dhesi.



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