COVID-19: Ashimolowo moves to boost vaccine uptake in BAME community
As parts of efforts to tackle low COVID-19 vaccine uptake among Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, head of KICC has inaugurated a Vaccination and Immunisation Committee as an independent expert advisory group to spearhead community efforts in encouraging the BAME community to take the vaccine.
A press statement by the church said Pastor Ashimolowo was saddened by a report released by the Royal College of GP’s, which reportedly claimed that vaccine uptake was extremely low within the BAME community at just about 2% compared to the total vaccinated population.
While reiterating the fact that the church has not endorsed any particular medication or vaccine, the statement emphasized that it was only concerned about dispelling the myths about the vaccine.
According to the statement, “the Committee comprised of medical experts and specialists on the matter from within the KICC global church community. As a Global Ministry we believe in providing our members, and those who follow our ministry, with accurate and balanced information that will help inform their decisions on critical life matters such as vaccinations.
“We firmly believe that vaccination may be the single most important health-promoting initiative available to mankind. We believe in the effectiveness of vaccines to prevent serious illness and to save lives. And we also believe that each person should make an informed decision, rather than an emotional one based on myth.
It stated further, “We are not endorsing a particular medication or vaccine, but we are attempting to dispel the myths and establish the facts. The Church has an obligation to empower its local and wider community with the knowledge that is requisite to make informed decisions. More importantly as people of faith, we live our lives based on the timeless truth and wisdom of God’s Word and hope that we will allow the Spirit of God to lead and direct in this matter, as in every other area of our lives”.
In addition, the church also outlines ten reasons why the people should not reject COVID-19 vaccines. One of such reasons, according to the statement is that evidence abounds to show that people of BAME background are at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, and as such taking the vaccine will help reduce this risk.
The statement revealed further that “COVID-19 is a serious and life-threatening disease, saying it is over 500 times deadlier than Influenza (flu) and at its peak COVID-19 caused more than twice the number of deaths from all cancers in the UK.
“COVID-19 can have serious long term consequences such as chronic lung problems and heart diseases.
“COVID-19 vaccination reduces your risks of severe infection and the need for admission to Intensive Care Unit.
“Evidence is becoming available that vaccination will prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
“COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. It has the approval of UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA),” the statement read in part.