In this new video by the Diocese of Southwark, leading black clergy, the Rt Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich, and the Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, are urging the UK Minority Ethnic (UKME) to allay their fears and suspicions about the COVID-19 vaccination and to take it when they are offered it.
Rt Revd Dr Karowei Dorgu, the Bishop of Woolwich, said:
"Before I trained for priesthood, I was a GP and hospital doctor. And this message is specifically for my beloved brothers and sisters of the Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) community.
As you are aware, COVID has disproportionately affected members of the BAME community at higher rates, with very fatal outcomes.
"But surprisingly, there's a lot of hesitation within our community to take the COVID vaccine. And what I'm suggesting to you today is that you should not listen to those conspiracy theories. For example, some theories have said that this vaccine is an intention of the controllers of the world to change our DNA, to eventualy wipe out the Black race. Others have said it is an attempt to mark us with 666, the number of the beast, during the reigh of the Antichrist.
"Could I say that all of those are false. And the truth of the matter is that this vaccine has been produced with the best science and technology of this age. And it is intended to help us, and protect us from COVID-19.
"I'd like to suggest that you think about it this way: the vaccine is like a theatre producer that helps the actors have a dress rehearsal in order to prepare appropriately for the real event when it comes.
"So the vaccine would help you to develop antibodies which will be stored in your immune system to fight the COVID-19 virus, if it ever gets to you. And as we say, prevention is better than cure. So it prevents you from catching the disease.
"And it will not only save you, but it will save your friends and loved ones, and your community, and the NHS.
"So be wise, ignore conspiracy theories. Take the vaccine, protect yourself, protect your loved ones, protect your community, and save the NHS from being overloaded.
"Thank you very much for listening, and God bless you as you do this."
Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, said:
"Hello, my name is Rosa Mallett, I am the Archdeacon of Croydon, and I wanted to say a couple of things with regard to the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out.
"The first thing I wanted to say is, wow. We never really thought we would be here at this time. At the beginning it seemed as if this pandemic was going to absolutely floor our nation, floor our communities. And with the number of deaths that we've had rising, it was a real hope and a prayer that we would be here.
"But we're here. [The vaccines] are being rolled out. Some of our church halls are being used as vaccination centres, and many many people are being able to get the jab. Fantastic. My own mother had hers just today.
"I also hear that there are a number of people from Black and Minority Ethnic communities, UK BAME communities, who are finding themselves really worried about the vaccine.
"They've heard various conspiracy theories and they are reluctant to go forward.
"I would advise you, and advocate and tell you: please, if you are worried, speak to someone. Maybe speak to somebody in your church, maybe speak to your minister.
"Speak to somebody or go online. Check out what's being said and please don't just check out more conspiracy theories. Maybe Google whatever it is you've been told, and really check the information carefully.
"Please get yourself vaccinated. We really need to beat back this pandemic. We need to get our communities and our churches back on to a reasonable, even keel. We need to be able to meet in public. So please get yourself vaccinated."