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Birkbeck community encourages COVID-19 vaccination amongst BAME groups

Action has ranged from members featuring in videos and vaccine trials, with notable Birkbeckians Romesh Ranganathan, Claudia Webbe and Kemi Badenoch taking part.

As people around the world are making the decision about whether to get vaccinated against COVID-19, members of the Birkbeck community are highlighting the importance of getting the vaccine, especially in the light of recent news that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups are far less likely to.

Whether it is through featuring in high-profile videos or taking part in vaccine trials, Birkbeck alumni are finding creative and inspiring ways to combat misinformation and encourage uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines in the BAME community.

Alumnus Romesh Ranganathan, British comedian, joined a host of celebrities in a video created in association with the British Asian Trust, with Romesh specifically focusing on dispelling vaccine misinformation: “There’s no chip or tracker in the vaccine to keep watching where you go - your mobile phone actually does a much better job of that.” 

Birkbeck Fellow David Lammy, Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Tottenham, and Birkbeck alumna Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East, took part in a similar video that united Black Conservative and Labour politicians. David Lammy shared his personal experience of losing his uncle to the virus, and Claudia Webbe urged people not to let vaccine misinformation put them at risk. 

In another show of support for COVID-19 vaccination, alumna Kemi Badenoch, Equalities Minister, took part in trials for the Novavax vaccine against coronavirus. Kemi joined the trial as researchers were calling on more people from BAME backgrounds to volunteer for clinical studies through the NHS Vaccine Registry, and she wanted to inspire others to do so too.

Nic Katona, Director of Development and Alumni at Birkbeck, commented: “The important information being shared about the vaccine is just another example of the positive impact the Birkbeck community is having on society. These challenging times call for a robust community response and we are pleased to see our alumni leading the charge.”

This year, the #OurBirkbeck initiative is highlighting stories like these from our community around the world. We are proud to champion and celebrate the incredible impact that our 60,000 alumni and friends are having, whether they’re making a difference in their community, bringing about change to their industry or shaping the lives of those around them.  

Tell us how you are having an impact and share your story today via the #OurBirkbeck website.  

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