Wednesday April 7, 2021
A Somali organisation in Bristol has made a film encouraging more people from the community to take up the vaccine and combat misinformation circulating online.
The Somali community is the largest ethnic minority in Bristol with an estimated 10,000 people living in the city, predominantly in areas like Lawrence Hill, Easton and St Paul's.
Bristol Somali Youth Voice says issues of trust in the health system, fear about potential long term health consequences and inaccurate reports on social media have led to some people not taking up the vaccine.
The group created a short film featuring a GP from Easton and a resident from Barton Hill which could easily be shared online.
A report published by the group last year found the Somali community had been disproportionately affected by the virus. ONS figures have found people from black backgrounds are four times more likely to die from the virus than people from white backgrounds.
Chair of the Bristol Somali Youth Voice Mohamed Sayaqle said: “Listening to the fear and concerns of the community around Covid-19 vaccine is vital.
"We need to understand and address citizen’s concerns that can prevent optimal uptake, build motivations into messaging, and prioritise public trust by informing and engaging the community in the process.
"Covid-19 has exposed structural and systematic inequalities in our society that existed before pandemics, but also vaccine rollout also amplifying health inequalities as well".
Mohamed Sayaqle, Chair of the Bristol Somali Youth Voice, receives his vaccine. Credit: Bristol Somali Youth Voice