A star-studded line up of sporting heroes from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have collaborated with the British Red Cross in a brand-new film to encourage people to have the COVID-19 vaccine.
Rugby legend Jason Robinson kicks off the new film, with Aston Villa’s Neil Taylor, Paralympian Ade Adepitan, TV broadcaster Reshmin Chowdhury, Cricket star Monty Panesar and sprinter, and Olympic hopeful Imani Lansiquot.
The film supports recent research from the British Red Cross that explores the issue of vaccine hesitancy among BAME communities in the UK. It suggests family conversations could be key in increasing vaccine uptake.
According to the poll, Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Brits are nearly twice as likely to get information about the vaccine from friends and family; trust family more than any other source of vaccine information other than health professionals; and are much more likely to have discussed their decision about whether to have the vaccine with extended family. They are also much more likely to have seen or heard information encouraging them not to have the vaccine (62% compared to 42% of the national sample).
The British Red Cross says that given the significant role families could play in decisions around having the jab, it is vital people are equipped with facts and information to have informed conversations. The charity says that having an informed conversation with your family about the vaccine is a kind thing to do, that can save lives. Earlier this month, the charity released a film, featuring real-life family conversations about getting vaccinated.
The polling data holds significant findings for policy makers, health bodies and organisations focused on increasing confidence and uptake in the Covid-19 vaccine.
Top line findings
- Family, along with healthcare professionals and scientists, are one of the most trusted sources of information about the vaccine. 81% of people from BAME communities say they would trust information from their family, which is higher than the government (66%) and the mainstream media (50%).
- Vaccine hesitancy remains higher amongst some, but not all Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities. The research strongly points towards people from BAME backgrounds not being approached as one homogenous group.The charity is calling for a person-centred approach to communicating with individuals about the vaccine.
- Outright rejection of the vaccine is far highest among respondents identifying as Black African, Black Caribbean or Pakistani.
- The majority (82%) of people from BAME communities who are vaccine hesitant say they could be convinced to have the vaccine. People are most concerned about side effects (57%), followed by the speed of production (36%) and ingredients (34%).
Premier League and Welsh international footballer, Neil Taylor, who recently supported a drive for more Asian footballers, says:
“Like many of us, I’ve really missed seeing my family regularly, and having fans cheering at games. I’m really looking forward to it being safe enough for life to return to some form of normality. That’s why I’m really happy to be part of the British Red Cross #TeamVaccine campaign.”
“Research shows that people from BAME communities are more likely to trust what their families say about vaccine information over the media or the government. There’s lots of worrying misinformation out there, so being equipped with facts and reliable information will help us have kind, informed conversations with those who love and trust us most.”
TV Broadcaster, Reshmin Chowdhury, says:
“I think it’s fair to say we’re all fed up of COVID-19 and how it can feel like it’s separated us from our family and friends, as well as the things we love, like sport.
“Many people are still unsure about whether they’ll have the vaccination when offered. So, it’s really important that we get our facts straight and use reliable sources, like the NHS website and the British Red Cross information hub, to help our families – our “teams” – feel confident in their decision.”
Professor Geeta Nargund, Vice-Chair of the British Red Cross and senior NHS consultant and, says:
“It’s wonderful to see so many stars from the sporting world support the British Red Cross’ call for more people from BAME communities to take the vaccine. As a doctor, I know how important it is to reassure patients about the Covid-19 vaccine and address any concerns and hesitations they might have. Many people simply want to talk it through and check if the information they have seen is accurate.
“Unfortunately, we know that people from BAME communities are far more likely to have received misinformation encouraging them not to have the vaccine. When it comes to family, a key thing to remember is that by taking the vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself but also saving the lives of your loved ones. Having informed conversations about the vaccine is a kind thing to do, that saves lives.”
The British Red Cross campaign sets out to encourage families to have informed conversations about the vaccine, based on facts not fiction. The sports stars in the film are calling on people to share the right information with their “team” by visiting
the British Red Cross online vaccine hub: redcross.org.uk/coronavirus-vaccine