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Vaccines minister warns jab take-up may be lower among BAME communities

VACCINES minister Nadhim Zahawi warned today that the take-up of the jab may be lower among ethnic minorities.

Mr Zahawi said he is working with local mayors and councils to get the message across to “hard-to-reach groups.”

It comes after a document, released by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies last week, found that a “marked difference [in vaccine take-up] existed by ethnicity, with black ethnic groups the most likely to be Covid-19 hesitant, followed by Pakistani/Bangladeshi groups.”

The report said that adults in minority ethnic groups were less likely to receive vaccines than those in white groups, by between 10 to 20 per cent.

The undated document said that barriers to the vaccine uptake include the perception of risk, low confidence in the vaccine as well as lack of endorsement from trusted providers and community leaders.

GP Salman Waqar, from the British Islamic Medical Association, said: “Some of my colleagues have said that they struggled to book in minority community patients, particularly the elderly.

“If you look at data from influenza, that also shows a lower uptake among minority communities, so it’s not surprising in that sense.

“There is a lot of misinformation. And people really need help seeing through it.”

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