Script for African community conversations
In the last year we’ve seen a devastating number of black people suffer, and die, from Coronavirus. We do not want to see this continue.
If you are of African descent, you are at higher risk of getting Coronavirus – especially if you have a long-term condition such as diabetes, heart disease or respiratory conditions. Our community do suffer from these conditions.
Your risk of dying from COVID-19 is almost double if you are Black (1.9 times as likely), compared to white British people.
The NHS has told us their data already shows that our community are not taking the vaccine – these are our grandparents and our parents, the people who bought us to this country – they’re at risk. I do not want to see them suffer or die.
Our community is receiving lots of information and conspiracy theories from WhatsApp and social media. These messages are not from reputable sources and are scaremongering our elders and putting their lives at risk. We cannot see this continue. It’s our duty to get the facts and help our loved ones make informed decisions.
I know our community has lots of questions about the vaccine, so I want to answer a few key ones:
How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?
The vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety. Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.
So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.
To find out more about the vaccines approved in the UK, see:
- GOV.UK: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 approved by MHRA
- GOV.UK: Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 approved by MHRA
- GOV.UK: Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 approved by MHRA
Can I Have a vaccination during Ramadan?
The British Muslim Council has confirmed that receiving the COVID-19 vaccines currently licensed in the UK will not invalidate the fast. Therefore, individuals should not delay their Covid-19 vaccinations on the account of Ramadan.
Are there any side effects?
Like all medicines, vaccines can cause side effects. Most of these are mild and short-term, and not everyone gets them. These are important details which the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) always consider when assessing candidate vaccines for use. For the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, like lots of others, they have identified that some people might feel slightly unwell, but they report that no significant side effects have been observed in over 43,000 people involved in the trials. All patients will be provided with information on the vaccine they have received, how to look out for any side effects, and what to do if they do occur, including reporting them to the MHRA.
What ingredients does the vaccine contain?
The approved COVID-19 vaccines do not contain any animal products or egg. The Department of Health and social Care (DHSC) has engaged with faith/vegetarian/vegan groups on vaccine components. They have met with faith leaders and the Moral and Ethical Advisory Group (MEAG), on COVID-19 immunisation and sought consideration of how best to clearly communicate about potential COVID-19 vaccines candidates.
The MHRA has confirmed that the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine do not contain any components of animal origin.
A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine can be found at point 2 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
A full list of ingredients for the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6.1 in the Information for Healthcare Professionals of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.
A full list of ingredients for the qualitative and quantitative composition of the vaccine and a full list of the excipient composition of the vaccine can be found at point 6 in the Information for Recipients of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.