Doctor urges Derry BAME community to get Covid 19 vaccine

Dr  Mukesh Chugh, Consultant Anesthetist with the Western Trust.Dr  Mukesh Chugh, Consultant Anesthetist with the Western Trust.
Dr Mukesh Chugh, Consultant Anesthetist with the Western Trust.
The Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities within Derry and the NW have been urged to avail of the Covid 19 vaccine and to ensure information relating to it is received from trusted sources.

The call comes from Dr Mukesh Chugh, Consultant Anaesthetist with the Western Trust and community volunteer.

A recent survey by the Royal Society of Public Health in England has indicated that only 57% of BAME people are likely to take the vaccine compared to around 80% of the white population.

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Speaking to the ‘Journal’ Dr Chugh said there is anecdotal evidence that a reluctance to receive the Covid 19 vaccine is also prevalent among the community in Northern Ireland.

“The misinformation has led to mistrust so it’s very important to educate people not to fall for rumours on safety and contents of this vaccine. Education is the only way; we could see a change in people’s perception in the near future.”

Dr Chugh wants to highlight some misconceptions and concerns the community may have and stressed how the vaccine will save people’s lives, as well as those of their family and the entire community.

Dr Chugh said that as many people as possible must be vaccinated against Covid 19 to ensure herd immunity. He adds that specific ethnic groups are at higher risk of contracting Covid 19 and at higher risk of complications related to the illness. He said this is one of the reasons why vaccination is incredibly important within the BAME community.

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Dr Chugh stressed that all vaccinators are highly trained and skilled and that the vaccines themselves have been through stringent checks and procedures to ensure they are both safe and effective.

“Minor side effects are common and should not deter people from inoculation.’

He added how much misinformation has been shared widely across social media and this has led to fear and uncertainty. One of these untruths is that the vaccine contains ingredients that are against religious beliefs and Dr Chugh assures the community this is not the case and ‘there is nothing in these vaccines that are against any religious beliefs.’

Dr Chugh added that while everyone is welcome and encouraged to ask questions on all aspects of health, they should ensure their answers come from scientific and verified sources. “Please do not believe any unverified claims on social media and do not share these. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to ask questions, but please ensure your answers come from trusted people and sources.”

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