Great British Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain is fronting a campaign to encourage the British Bangladeshi community to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The TV cook has appeared in a video along with Asma Khan from the Netflix series Chef’s Table and MasterChef’s Dr Saliha Mahmood for the NHS in a bid to fight hesitancy surrounding the jab.
Hussain, 36, says: “If we want to get back to celebrations and spending quality time with our family we need to find a way out of this pandemic. We have been given that opportunity with the COVID-19 vaccine.
"So I encourage you to read around the vaccine and ask questions to your doctors. My sister has had the vaccine and suffered no side effects. When the time comes, I will be getting my COVID-19 vaccine too."
The video is part of an international vaccination campaign backed by the United Nations.
Data from the NHS shows 76,106 people of Bangladeshi ethnicity have received a first dose of the vaccine in England.
The latest update from Public Health England on Friday 5 March showed 21,358,815 people had received their first dose of a vaccine. The figure includes nine out of 10 people aged 65 and over, but the NHS is trying to encourage as many people from black, Asian and ethnic minority groups to take up the offer.
Dr Mahmoud, who works for the NHS, said: “It is imperative we talk the language of these communities. As an NHS doctor but also as a woman and mother from this community, I hope to use this platform to spread a positive message around vaccination as far as possible.”
Dr Nikki Kanani, national director for primary care at NHS England and practising GP, said: “We need to continue to build confidence in the vaccine amongst certain communities, and we are working hard to improve uptake, delivering vaccines at faith and community centres and providing information in multiple languages.
“I am so grateful for the support brought by Nadiya, Asma and Saliha, who can help us to reassure people that the vaccine is safe, effective and our best way out of the pandemic.”
Other high-profile medics have joined campaigns to encourage those from ethnic minority communities to get vaccinated, as Dr Ranj Singh, Dr Zoe Williams and Dr Nighat Arif fronted an initiative back in January.
The NHS had offered all those in the first four priority groups a vaccine by the middle of February and are now working through the remaining groups.
With additional reporting by PA.
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