An independent video campaign urging ethnic minority communities to dispel myths and take the Covid-19 vaccine is to air across all major UK broadcasters in an unprecedented TV moment taking place tonight Thursday 18th February at 9:56pm. The video, which features stars addressing unique cultural challenges and concerns around the vaccine in minority communities, will launch a campaign to encourage vaccine uptake. The simultaneous television broadcast and coming together of all the major commercial channels and the BBC will be a first in British media history.
The 3½ minute film was shown at a special webinar addressing vaccine hesitancy in ethnic communities introduced by HRH The Prince of Wales and organised by the British Asian Trust on the morning of Thursday 18th February. The event featured key speakers such as vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi, Public Health England director Professor Kevin Fenton and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.
In an excerpt from his video address HRH The Prince of Wales said: “It is clear that the virus has affected all parts of the country, and all sections of society – but it is also clear that there are particular challenges faced in particular sections of our society, especially in some ethnic minority communities. What saddens me even further is to hear that those challenges are being made even worse by the variable uptake of the vaccines which finally offer us a way out of the suffering of the past year.”
The original video has been re-edited and reshot with new faces including David Olusoga OBE, Denise Lewis OBE, Beverley Knight MBE, Hugh Quarshie and Hassan Akad in addition to a stellar line up which includes TV stars Adil Ray OBE, Sanjeev Bhaskar OBE, Meera Syal CBE, Shobna Gulati, Romesh Ranganathan, Asim Chaudhry, England cricketer Moeen Ali and broadcasters Konnie Huq, Alex Beresford, Mehreen Baig, Ria Hebden and Sonali Shah.
Actor and broadcaster Adil Ray OBE, who has led the campaign said: “We are in unprecedented times and the fact remains this pandemic disproportionately effects people from ethnic minority communities. It’s heartening to see all the major broadcasters come together in an equally unprecedented television broadcast at this crucial time. An indication of how serious this situation is. We must all engage and encourage one another to do the right thing. The message is simple; take the vaccine, save lives.”
To amplify the message and support community efforts, the UK’s major broadcasters have come together unanimously for the first time to offer unprecedented coverage which will span the whole day on Thursday 18th February but peak with a simultaneous broadcast of the film on commercial channels at 9:56pm, reaching an estimated audience of over 10 million. While the BBC’s charter prevents it from taking part in campaigns the BBC is looking at the important issues raised by the campaign on the day it launches. The incredible show of unity amongst the channels underlines the importance of the message.