Sir Lenny Henry writes an open letter to black Britons, co-signed by many celebrities, urging them to get vaccinated against Covid-19 and fight "racial inequality".
Sir Lenny Henry’s letter to black Britain is an encouragement to “take the Covid-19 jab” in order to slowly go back to “new normal”. The open letter addresses to the loved ones and urges them to trust science and get vaccine against Covid-19 despite fears.
The content of Sir Lenny Henry’s letter
The letter clearly points out the issue: “While other communities are rushing to get the vaccine and millions have already been vaccinated, some Black people in our community are being more cautious”.
‘COVID-19 has kept us apart for far too long. We want to hug you, we want to celebrate with you, we want to go out for dinner with you…’
Sir @LennyHenry urges Black Britons to get the COVID-19 vaccine, in a ‘letter to loved ones’.
— NHS England and NHS Improvement (@NHSEngland) March 30, 2021
Office for National Statistics has indeed collected worrying data about such topic. Figures released on Monday pointed out a great disparity in vaccination rates between black and white Britons. Black British people over-70s are seven times more likely to have not taken Covid-19 vaccine than white British people. This means that four in 10 elderly black people don’t receive vaccine.
Black British community also has the lowest rate for people receiving the first jab among all ethnic minorities: 58.8%. By contrast, white British people’s estimated rate was 91.3%.
That’s the reason why Sir Lenny Henry’s letter begs black people to “trust the facts about the vaccine from our own professors, doctors, scientists involved in the vaccine’s developments, GPs, not just in the UK but across the world including the Caribbean and Africa”, despite the “legitimate worries and concerns”.
Sir Lenny Henry concludes by saying:
“Don’t let your understandable fears be what holds you back. Don’t let concerns be the thing that widens racial inequality in our society. Don’t let Black people continue to be disproportionately impacted by this terrible disease”.
The open-letter has been co-signed by many celebrities. Among the signatories are actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Adjoa Andoh, author Malorie Blackman, performer George the Poet and YouTuber KSI, football pundit Garth Crooks and DJ Trevor Nelson.
The letter has also been turned into a short film starring Naomi Ackie, Adjoa Andoh, David Harewood and Adrian Lester and directed by Amma Asante. “I felt it was important to do my bit and so I wrote this letter to black Britain asking people not to get left behind”, explained Sir Lenny Henry.