Coronation Street star Shelley King is encouraging Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford to take up the COVID19 vaccine after receiving her first jab earlier this month.
The 65 year old Anglo-Indian actress, who has played Corrie favourite Yasmeen Nazir since 2014 has recorded a personal message to encourage people in the communities served by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, including thousands of staff working across our hospital and community services, to do everything they can to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities by having the jab as soon as they’re offered it.
She said: “The vaccine really is the only logical way for all of us to return to a way of living that many of us took for granted before so I would absolutely encourage people of all ethnicities across all of our local communities in Greater Manchester to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to, and to encourage their families and friends to do the same, for the sake of our health, our safety and for the sake of humanity as a whole.”
The Northern Care Alliance has already administered more than 70,000 vaccinations to the vast majority of its own 19,000 strong workforce, as well as eligible patients and local residents across Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford where it provides hospital and community services to millions of people every year.
But as highlighted by England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam earlier this month, some BAME communities are still uncertain about taking up the vaccine, which is driving concerns about misinformation and the damage it could do.
Born in Kolkata, in the West Bengal area of India, Shelley - who now bases herself between Manchester and London - received her first jab earlier this month and is keen to help dispel any myths that may be dissuading some people from taking up the jab. And as patron of The Hope Foundation Hospital in Kolkata, a charity providing food, education, housing and healthcare to street connected children, Shelley has recently been in contact with medical staff there, all of whom have received their Covid vaccinations.
She said: “There’s a real risk that fake news and rumours about the vaccine will negatively affect the decisions being made by some people in the highest risk groups, and these ‘facts’ that are being shared across various platforms are very dangerous and misleading. They’re designed to frighten people and damage their confidence in the vaccine, when in fact what we need to do is reassure people of its safety so that we can all take a step closer to the lives we’ve missed so much since lockdown began, whatever our ethnicity, race or religion.”
Raj Jain, Chief Executive Officer at the NCA said: “We are thrilled to have safely vaccinated tens of thousands of our staff and eligible patients since we took delivery of the first vaccines at the end of December. I’d like to extend our thanks to Shelley for her support and would echo her views on the need for us to dispel the myths we know are out there. We would like to reassure our BAME staff and all of the wider communities we serve about the safety and of the vaccine, and we are working with our community and faith leaders to encourage people to come forward when it’s their turn and have their jab, to help us all return to a life where we can spend time with our families and friends.”