Portsmouth activist creates video to encourage BAME community to take the Covid vaccine
A CONCERNED activist in Portsmouth has enlisted the help of others to encourage members of the BAME community to take the coronavirus vaccine when it is offered.
City support worker Sumel Chowdhury was joined by other prominent figures to myth-bust misinformation about Covid jabs via a video, which has since been viewed by thousands of people.
As part of the 'Let's Vaccinate Britain' video Sumel was joined by mosque leaders, doctors, representatives from the television industry and Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan.
Initially Sumel, who is a member of Portsmouth's Bangladeshi community, intended to reach people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups, however, he said the message was relevant to everyone.
The 41-year-old said: 'I heard from the BBC and other news outlets, as well as what I was seeing on social media, that a lot of people were still worried about the vaccine because they had been bombarded with so much misinformation online.
'The video was so well received, it has been shared thousands of times across WhatsApp and I've had so many people call me to say they've sent it on to their friends and family.'
It comes after a Public Health England report released last year revealed there was a 'disproportionate' rate of BAME people dying from coronavirus compared to white people.
Sumel added: 'I had Covid in December and was quite ill with some breathing problems, but luckily I didn't need to go to hospital. And as I'm a frontline worker I know how serious it is.
'We need to thank not only the whole of the NHS but QA Hospital for everything. They have been running the vaccine hub brilliantly.
'I had my first dose of the vaccine last month and I just had a bit of pain in my arm, that was all.'
Mr Morgan said: 'I am hugely grateful to Sumel Chowdhury and his bright idea to bring people representing our diverse city together for this important community-led project, and to all those from across Portsmouth who gave up their time to be involved.
'We must continue to work together to get the vaccination and beat this virus once and for all.'
A video in English was released, as well as a version with different languages.