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Local NHS worker who lost friends to Covid supports vaccination campaign

Picture of Grace holding a sign

A Singleton Hospital worker has enlisted the help of her colleagues to tell people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities about the importance of taking the Covid-19 vaccination.

After losing two friends to the virus, Grace Manuputty, who works in Singleton Hospital’s Domestic Department and is the Black Officer for Unison’s Swansea branch, felt driven to take action.

She asked colleagues who are members of Minority Ethnic communities, to take part in a series of photographs holding caption cards to explain why they chose to take the vaccine when it was offered. Reasons included ‘I have to protect myself, my family, my patients and protect the public’, ‘this is the only way to beat Covid-19 for good’, and ‘because of the proven efficacy in trials’.

Staff at Singleton Hospital came out in force to support the initiative and the photographs will be used over the coming weeks and months to support the ‘Tell Me More Campaign’, which aims to dispel fear and mistrust, and encourage take-up of the Covid-19 vaccination amongst BAME communities.

Grace said:

“I feel very lucky because I have had my two doses of the vaccine. I cried after my first jab, not because it hurt, but because I felt proud to be contributing to society by becoming part of the solution to this terrible pandemic. 

“There are many reasons why people in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities might not be taking up the vaccination. By giving people the opportunity to say ‘I had the vaccination because…’ we are hoping to show that the vaccine is safe and vital in protecting yourself, the ones you love and your community.

“Everybody has suffered during this pandemic, I have lost two friends who didn’t take up the vaccination and have since passed away from Covid-19. As such, I am passionate about the need for people to be vaccinated. This is a sentiment shared across the NHS and I was overwhelmed at how many of my colleagues jumped at the chance to add their voice to the campaign encouraging people to take up the vaccination.”

The ‘Tell Me More Campaign’ is led by representatives of the Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. It signposts people to honest and accurate information from trusted local sources, including medical practitioners, faith and community leaders, as well as ordinary people, friends and neighbours, who live and work in the community, so that people from BAME communities can truly make informed decisions.

Henry Gilbert, former High Sheriff of West Glamorgan and Chair of the Campaign, said:

“Over the past 15 months we have seen many examples of ordinary people stepping up in extraordinary times. Grace and her colleagues are shining examples of this and I would like to thank them for supporting our campaign.

“NHS workers are trusted and highly respected, and by sharing their reasons for taking the vaccine, they will help to instil confidence in others in our communities.

“For many months there has been false information circulating on social media, including claims that the vaccinations are against Islam, that they contain pork, or that they can lead to infertility, but none of these claims are true.

“I, and many of my colleagues on the Tell Me More Forum, have also been fortunate enough to have received two doses of the vaccine and we are urging people who have any doubts to find out the facts from a trusted source and take the vaccine when it is offered.”

For more information follow this link to the Tell me more website where you can find answers to frequently asked questions, download information in a range of languages and support the campaign by sending in your own videos or testimonials.

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