The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being rolled out across the U.K, with over a million people in Scotland having received the vaccine already.
There is a lot of information out there right now about the vaccine, and it is important to ensure the sources you are receiving information from are reputable and factual. Be especially critical of unsourced and unverified claims made online.
In this blog, we will sort facts from fiction – ensuring you are fully informed to make a decision on taking the vaccination for yourself. At Hwupenyu, we would strongly advise you to take the vaccine, if you are offered it by your GP!
FALSE: COVID VACCINE IS NOT SAFE FOR MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE
TRUE: THERE IS NO MEDICAL EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST THAT THE VACCINE IS UNSAFE FOR MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLEBAME people were represented in clinical trials during the development of the vaccines, and there is no evidence to suggest that BAME people are more likely to experience adverse effects on the basis of race, as compared to our white counterparts. In fact, BAME communities are more likely to be adversely affected by COVID – hence the importance of tackling vaccine hesitancy in our communities. We must also be mindful to refute inaccurate ‘race based science’ that implies that there is a biological basis to ‘race’ – in fact, the very construct of race is social – not biological.
SE: THE COVID VACCINE IS BEING ‘TESTED OUT’ ON MINORITY ETHNIC PEOPLE FIRST
TRUE: THE COVID VACCINE IS BEING OFFERED FIRST TO THOSE CONSIDERED AT ‘HIGH RISK’ OF SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS FOR COVID
The priority list of people to receive the vaccine in the UK does not include BAME people specifically – although there may naturally be overlap between those groups considered at risk, and BAME people. Many people of all backgrounds across the globe have now received the vaccine.
FALSE: THE COVID VACCINE HAS BEEN RUSHED THROUGH, SO IT IS UNSAFE
TRUE: THE COVID VACCINE HAS UNDERGONE RIGOROUS SCIENTIFIC TESTING AND TRIALS TO ENSURE ITS SAFETY
It is true that the COVID vaccine has been developed rapidly – but this reflects the urgent global need for a rapid solution for COVID, and the effect of many researchers working on other vaccines and other clinical trials refocusing their efforts to work entirely on COVID-19. Appropriate safety measures have been taken – the vaccines have been tested on large numbers of people, in strictly regulated clinical trials.
FALSE: THE COVID VACCINE CONTAINS ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND/OR IS NOT HALAL
TRUE: THE VACCINES AVAILABLE DO NOT CONTAIN ANY ANIMAL DERIVED INGREDIENTS, AND IS HALAL
The vaccines made by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna that were recently approved for use in the UK do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. The British Islamic Medical Association has recommended at-risk individuals within the Muslim community get vaccinated, and the Mosque and Imams National Advisory Board is running a campaign to encourage Muslim communities to get vaccinated.
FALSE: THERE IS A RISK OF INFERTILITY IF YOU TAKE THE COVID VACCINE
TRUE: THERE IS NO MEDICAL EVIDENCE WHICH SHOWS THERE IS A RISK OF INFERTILITY IF YOU TAKE THE VACCINE
Via ITV: Professor Lucy Chappell, a consultant obstetrician specialising in women with medical problems in pregnancy, says it is understandable that there have been questions about the new vaccines but said that fearful claims, which can be found online, have never been substantiated. She said: “I can see absolutely no basis for concerns about any of the Covid-19 vaccines that are licensed in the UK and fertility.”
FALSE: THE VACCINE CONTAINS PARTS OF ABORTED FOETUS
TRUE: THE VACCINE DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY CELLS FROM AN ABORTED FOETUS.
Via ITV: A Facebook user falsely claimed that the vaccine uses MRC-5 cell lines which were “originally developed from research deriving lung tissue of a 14-week-old aborted Caucasian male foetus”. AstraZeneca has confirmed its vaccine was not developed using MRC-5 cell lines but does use a different cell strain taken from a female foetus aborted in the 1970s. The cells are used to propagate the virus for the vaccine but these cells do not make it into the final jab.
We hope that this has helped you stay informed, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.
Remember – at Hwupenyu we are always here to help you. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you need help, support or even a listening ear.