NHS staff urge South Asian communities in London to get the Covid-19 vaccine in non-English languages


Dr Fharat Raja, consultant oncologist at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust
Dr Fharat Raja, consultant oncologist at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

NHS doctors, nurses and other frontline staff have come forward in a new video to reassure South Asian communities in London that Covid-19 vaccines are safe, effective and have been independently tested to the highest standards.

They have recorded messages in some of the most commonly spoken non-English languages in the capital including Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Nepali, Somali, Arabic, Igbo, Turkish, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Swahili and Yoruba.

Dr Fharat Raja, a Consultant Oncologist at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, explains how the vaccine is given in Urdu, and providing clear evidence that they work and are safe for all.

She said: “The Covid-19 vaccine gives you the best protection from coronavirus. So when you are invited to get the vaccine, please go. The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner we can get London back to normal.”

The Covid-19 vaccines do not contain any alcohol, egg, meat or pork products, including gelatine. They also contain no foetal matter, confirms the NHS staff in the video.

According to the NHS, the vaccines have been tested on tens of thousands of people from different age groups and backgrounds including black, Asian and other ethnicities.

“As a doctor, I have seen first-hand how this virus has affected families and communities in London, with more than 14,000 Londoners losing their lives to Covid in the past year. Getting one of the safe, effective and well-tested vaccines when you are invited to do so is the best way you can protect yourself and those around you from becoming unwell,” said Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London.

“While we vaccinate more and more Londoners, we need everyone to keep playing their part in protecting each other by staying at home whenever possible.”

The British Islamic Medical Association has already recommended both the Pfizer vaccine and the Oxford/ Astra Zeneca vaccine to Muslim communities.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, said: ““I’m relieved and very grateful to have received the first dose myself after being asked by my GP to take it due to my severe asthma, and I urge everyone who is offered it to take it as soon as possible.

“We know black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and videos such as this are a fantastic way to get the message out loud and clear that the vaccines are safe, effective and our best route out of this awful pandemic.”

People can now book for vaccination at one of 26 pharmacy services operating in London, the NHS said.

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