A group of BAME figures from across Kingston came together last week to take part in several video campaigns urging residents to take the COVID vaccine.
Members of the council took part in a live stream called ‘Let’s Talk About Vaccines’ on Thursday on YouTube, which is still available to view.
They included the Director of Public Health at Kingston Council, Iona Lidington and Cllr Thay Thayalan, BAME Champion at Kingston Council and Community Champion.
Thayalan said the aim was to encourage increased take-up and the tackle some myths and misinformation around the vaccine.
These include it being made from animal origin, the speed at which the vaccine was developed, and that it affects fertility, all of which are unfounded.
He added that in Kingston 90% of the over 70’s have had the vaccine.
Thayalan said: “We are encouraging faith leaders to promote the vaccination.
“I got the vaccine as I believe it’s a really important step in protecting myself, others, and getting back to normal life.
“By taking the vaccine myself, I want to lead by example as a councillor and communities champion to encourage everybody to take it.
“If people have any concerns about the vaccine, they must make sure they take information from trusted sources to make an informed decision.
“If you are offered the vaccine please take it, it’s the only way we can come out of this pandemic and you can save your life and loved ones”.
They have also released a video with community leaders such as John Azah, Chief Executive Officer at Kingston Race and Equalities Council, and Councillor Jaesung Ha appearing.
In the video they said: “We know it has been a tough year. Many in our communities have suffered, lost loved ones, and put themselves at risk on the frontline in the NHS and elsewhere.
“We will find our way through this and be reunited with our friends and families. But we need your help.
“The coronavirus vaccine is our best chance of returning to normality. By taking the vaccine, you are protecting your own life, and the life of everyone around you.”
The council is also launching a survey to find out what the community think of the vaccine programme and what concerns they might have.
This can be accessed on the Kingston Council website.