We must take the vaccine to protect the BAME community

Cllr Adam Jogee at the vaccination centre in Lordship Lane

Cllr Adam Jogee at the vaccination centre in Lordship Lane - Credit: Cllr Adam Jogee

The last year has been like no other in living memory. Many people in Haringey and throughout the world have lost family, friends and loved ones.

To all those mourning, we stand with you in sorrow and remembrance. The coronavirus knows no boundaries, respects no colour or creed and must be taken seriously by all of us. I know from the mayoress’s work as an ICU nurse at one of our local hospitals that many people are still getting sick and so we still have some way to go to defeat the virus.

The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine is a sign that hope is on the way and that a return to something like "normal" is on the horizon.

Last week, I visited one of Haringey’s vaccination centres to see the operation for myself. I was overwhelmed by the skill and professionalism of Dr Russell Hearn and his team at the centre in Lordship Lane.

My heartfelt thanks goes to them all. In recent days, I have worked with Bibi Khan, the president at the Wightman Road Mosque, to donate food and drinks (with a big thanks to the borough’s Muslim community for responding to my call for support) to the brilliant and selfless NHS staff and volunteers working to get Britain vaccinated. I will be doing my bit to volunteer at the vaccination centres in the coming weeks too and encourage those able to volunteer to do so too.

It is increasingly evident that those from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, with age and specific underlying conditions also associated with more severe illness. This is deeply worrying and highlights the importance of ensuring that urgent action is taken to protect members of the BAME community. There is no greater action than taking the vaccine.

There has been an alarming amount of fake news spreading through the community and my message to the Black and minority ethnic community here in Haringey is simple. Please know how important it is to get the vaccination when you are offered it. It will protect you, your family, loved ones and your community.

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The last year, although challenging and devastating in so many different ways, has also shown the best of us. As your mayor, I am so proud at the way the Haringey family has come together. You have helped your neighbours and you’ve protected the most vulnerable.

Let’s harness that community spirit in the days and months ahead, let’s pull together and let’s each play our individual role in making sure everyone is able to access the covid-19 vaccination when it’s their turn. That’s how we get through this crisis, and remember – we will get through this and we will meet again.  

  • Councillor Adam Jogee is mayor of Haringey.