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‘Why I had no hesitation having the jab’

Islington’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic residents are urged not to shun the coronavirus vaccines

15 January, 2021

Yvonne Coghill receives her first dose of the Covid vaccine

BLACK, Asian and minority ethnic residents have been urged not to shun the coronavirus vaccines after an equality survey showed non-white people were less likely to join the take-up.

Yvonne Coghill, the NHS’s former director for workforce race equality standards, joined the Whittington Hospital this week to “improve the experience for colleagues from a black, minority ethnic background”.

But on her first day she found herself having her first dose of the Covid vaccine and immediately urged others to take it when offered.

“As the vaccines were produced I heard a lot of non-white people talking about them and saying they were not going to take them,” she said in a blog for the hospital in Archway.

“A recent race equality survey carried out by the Royal Society of Public Health found that non-white people were less likely to take the vaccines (76 per cent white people compared to 57 per cent).”

She said this was due to a “lack of trust” that needed to be resolved, particularly as the trends show that minority ethnic groups have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

But Ms Coghill added: “Let’s be honest, if thousands of people in their 80s with various comorbidities have taken it and not experienced terrible side effects it would appear the vaccine is safe. So, when I was invited to take the vaccine I did not hesitate to agree to taking it. Personally, as a black woman of a certain age and weight, knowing what I know and seeing what I have seen, there was no question, I was definitely going to take it.”

After her first jab, she said: “One day on, I can honestly say, that I feel absolutely fine, the injection site is a bit tender but otherwise, fit and well and actually psychologically feeling little bit safer that I did before. Roll on March when I will be receiving my booster shot to bolster my immunity.”

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