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Fake news 'causing UK South Asians to reject jab'

PUBLISHED

Fake news is likely to be causing some people from the UK's South Asian communities to reject the Covid vaccine, a doctor has warned.

Dr Harpreet Sood, who is leading an NHS anti-disinformation drive, said it was "a big concern" and officials were working "to correct so much fake news". He said language and cultural barriers played a part in the false information.

Dr Sood, from NHS England, said officials were working with South Asian role models, influencers, community leaders and religious leaders to help debunk myths about the vaccine.

Much of the disinformation surrounds the contents of the vaccine.

He said: "We need to be clear and make people realise there is no meat in the vaccine, there is no pork in the vaccine, it has been accepted and endorsed by all the religious leaders and councils and faith communities."

"We're trying to find role models and influencers and also thinking about ordinary citizens who need to be quick with this information so that they can all support one another because ultimately everyone is a role model to everyone", he added.

Dr Samara Afzal has been vaccinating people in Dudley, West Midlands. She said: "We've been calling all patients and booking them in for vaccines but the admin staff say when they call a lot of the South Asian patients they decline and refuse to have the vaccination.

"Also talking to friends and family have found the same. I've had friends calling me telling me to convince their parents or their grandparents to have the vaccination because other family members have convinced them not to have it".

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Source: BBC News, 15 January 2021

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