Our country recently reached the grim milestone of having recorded 100,000 Covid-19 deaths which includes 150 deaths here in Crawley. Every death from this awful virus is a tragedy and evidence shows some communities have been hit disproportionately hard.
We’ve seen that people of Black African and of South Asian ethnicity in England are more than twice as likely to die from this virus than White people, according to the Office for National Statistics. The reasons behind this are complex. These are believed to include socioeconomics, where and how people live, historic issues of inequality, and being more likely to work in more public-facing jobs.
Vaccinations are important for everyone but if your statistical risk of dying from Covid-19 is double that of others, it makes it doubly important to get it done. The government recognises that there can be lower levels of trust from some people of Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in the institutions set up to represent them, and they rightly have said they will work to address this. It is however good to see Black MPs from both main parties uniting to make a video to support receiving the vaccine, as well as nationally prominent British Asian figures speaking out in support.
This is hugely welcome as it is concerning when there are suspicions about vaccines, often fuelled by misinformation spread on social media and messaging apps. In some cases, such deliberate misinformation appears to target ethnic minorities.
Our vaccine rollout has been tremendous, and it looks to me as though this week we will reach ten million people having had their first dose. Last Saturday alone, nearly 1% of the entire UK population were vaccinated. We remain on target to get 15 million over-70s and clinically vulnerable people vaccinated by the middle of February and all over-50s by the spring. This is so important and will soon be reflected in falling hospital admissions and deaths.
I add my voice to those supporting being vaccinated. Please ignore misinformation and listen to trusted sources. All of us from all communities will benefit by having it done.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
3rd February 2021