Script – for community conversations
If you are of Afro-Caribbean 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, and our community suffers disproportionately 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
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 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 the over 43,000 people involved in 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.