The Prince of Wales has expressed concern over the ‘variable uptake’ of the Covid-19 vaccine in some ethnic minority communities.
The comments from the heir to the throne are in a keynote speech he will give this week at the British Asian Trust Webinar: Covid-19 Vaccine – Facts for the BAME community.
Charles, Royal Founder of the British Asian Trust (BAT), will say: ‘In view of my concern for the health and well-being of our ethnic minority community, I am so pleased to be able to introduce this very important discussion on vaccination.
The Prince of Wales (pictured at a vaccination center in December) has expressed concern over the ‘variable uptake’ of the Covid-19 vaccine in some ethnic minority communities
‘Everyone present today represents the collective effort we have made as a society to combat this relentless pandemic.
‘In the past year, we have all been inspired by countless accounts of duty not only from those who work tirelessly in our fantastic national health service or in social care, but also in all forms of public service as well as – of course – in business , industry, trade and the voluntary sector.
‘We have needed every last reserve of their selfless service and commitment to help defeat this damaging threat.’
In the address to be delivered via video message on Thursday, he adds: ‘Recently, I fear we have reached a very sober milestone in this seemingly endless campaign as we marked the tragic loss of one hundred thousand souls.
‘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 in certain parts of our society, especially in some ethnic minority communities.
‘What saddens me even more is to hear that these challenges are made even worse by the variable intake of vaccines, which finally gives us a way out of last year’s ailment.’
Prince Charles (72), who along with the Duchess of Cornwall (73) (pictured together in December) had his first coronavirus jab, described the number of 100,000 deaths in the UK, passed last month as a ‘most sobering milestone’
Clarence House confirmed during the week that Charles and Camilla have had their first Covid-19 vaccinations.
As over 70-year-olds, the pair are in the fourth priority group for rolling out jabs.
The confirmation comes after the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were injected last month, which was announced in an unusual move by Buckingham Palace, which rarely comments on the private health affairs of the 94-year-old head of state and her wife, 99.
Charles had previously said he would ‘absolutely’ get the Covid-19 vaccine when it was offered to him.
He and his eldest son, Prince William, both contracted coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic.
Charles was described as having mild symptoms and lost his sense of taste and smell for a period of time while it was reported that William was hit ‘quite hard’ by the virus.
The comments from the heir to the throne, who is the royal founder of the British Asian Trust (BAT), are in a keynote speech he will give this week at BAT’s webinar: Covid-19 Vaccine – Facts for the BAME community
There has been concern in the government about the number of vaccine admissions among some communities – including some ethnic minorities.
Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of NHS England, said he urges anyone who receives a letter to get the vaccine without hesitation.
He said officials have worked with faith groups and community leaders to encourage everyone to come forward.
‘Do not hesitate at all. These vaccines are safe, they are effective against Covid, they protect you, they protect your loved ones, and of course they help bring society back to normal, ‘he said.
The government has been urged to prioritize vaccination of ethnic minority groups after research showed that people with South Asian backgrounds continued to experience disproportionately high Covid-19 deaths.
Research recently published showed that Bangladeshi and Pakistani people have experienced an ‘alarming’ higher risk of dying with coronavirus through both waves of the pandemic compared to British white people.
The authors said people from South Asian groups are more likely to live in disadvantaged areas and in large multigenerational households. A greater proportion of Pakistani and Bangladeshi men work as taxi drivers, shop owners and proprietors than any other ethnic background – occupations with a higher risk of exposure to coronavirus.