The Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin has joined efforts to address fears about vaccines in black and minority ethnic communities. She has urged the country to follow the example of the Queen, who was vaccinated on January 9. Ms Hudson-Wilkin, who served as chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons before becoming Bishop of Dover, said: “When you are offered the opportunity to get your Covid vaccination, I want you to take it. There are distracting voices in our black and minority ethnic communities spreading doubt and alarm…
“These vaccines offer us a path through the pandemic, giving us hope, strength and the chance of safety. If the vaccine was good enough for Her Majesty, then it is good enough for us.
The bishop is part of the Give Hope campaign, which encourages people to talk about vaccines with their neighbours.
Pastor Agu Irukwu, who leads London’s Jesus House megachurch, said: “Our message is to encourage our congregations to take the vaccines and to provide information that brings comfort and answers the many questions, legitimate questions, that are raised in quite a number of cases… We have certainly seen a shift as more and more people have become comfortable and as a result are willing to take the vaccine.”
The Royal Society for Public Health reported in December that 76 percent of the public would take a Covid-19 vaccine, but only 57 percent of those from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds were likely to accept a jab.
Give Hope is an initiative of YourNeighbour, a movement of 1,100 churches launched in response to the epidemic.
Co-founder Russ Rook said: “By helping to communicate directly with hard to reach groups that may miss out, facilitating clear and kind conversations with some who may be reticent and providing practical support to those who need it, UK churches are playing a vital role in our country’s recovery from Covid-19.”