Somali-made Covid vaccination film aims to dispel myths

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A film has been produced that aims to tackle mistrust of the coronavirus vaccine among the Somali community.

Bristol Somali Youth Voice is concerned about low vaccine take-up in black and minority ethnic groups in the city.

The community group, based in Easton, made a short film at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic aimed at dispelling myths around the vaccination programme.

Its chair said the reasons for the low take-up were varied including a lack of understanding and misinformation.

Mohamed Sayaqle, chair of the Bristol Somali Youth Voice, continued: “BAME communities are disproportionally overrepresented both in hospitalization and infection rates but are underrepresented in vaccine uptake.

‘Faces they know’

“It is vital that information about the vaccine should be culturally appropriate and from sources of trust – this is why we made this film.”

In February a study by the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that black people over the age of 80 were half as likely as their white peers to have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The film, which features Mr Sayaqle and Dr Peter Torrance from Fireclay Health Centre, in St George and Kingswood, follows a young Somali called DJ who receives a vaccination appointment.

He is hesitant to be vaccinated but speaks to Dr Torrance about the facts which reassure him.

Dr Torrance said: “Health literacy varies amongst communities in how information is interpreted and a lot of the reluctance is around the communication mediums used, that’s why grass roots communication like this is essential.

“It has an impact because local people can see the faces they know from their community that they feel they can trust.”