Entertainment

Nadiya Hussain fronts video campaign urging British Bangladeshis to get jab

The Bake Off champion said education was the best way to encourage friends and family to receive a coronavirus vaccination.

Nadiya Hussain has appeared in a video campaign urging the British Bangladeshi community to get vaccinated against coronavirus.

The Great British Bake Off winner, Asma Khan from the Netflix series Chef’s Table and MasterChef’s Dr Saliha Mahmood have joined the NHS in a bid to tackle hesitancy surrounding the jab.

In the video message, Hussain says: “Education is empowering. By educating ourselves around vaccination it allows us to encourage our family members, loved ones and communities to get the vaccine.”

MasterChef
Saliha Mahmood was named MasterChef winner in 2017 (BBC/PA)

The trio of cooking show favourites shared the message as part of an international vaccination campaign backed by the United Nations.

According to NHS data, 76,106 people of Bangladeshi ethnicity have received a first dose of the vaccine in England.

Last month Adil Ray, Beverley Knight, Romesh Ranganathan and Denise Lewis appeared in a video calling on members of ethnic minority groups to get vaccinated, which aired simultaneously across channels including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and STV.

More than 20 million people in the UK have had a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This includes nine out of 10 people aged 65 and over, but the NHS is aiming to encourage as many people from black, Asian and ethnic minority groups to take up the offer.

Dr Mahmood, who is an NHS doctor and won MasterChef in 2017, said: “It is imperative we talk the language of these communities. As an NHS doctor but also as a woman and mother from this community, I hope to use this platform to spread a positive message around vaccination as far as possible.”

Chef Khan, owner of the Darjeeling Express restaurant in London, said: “Food is at the heart of our communities and our families, and the quicker we get vaccinated the quicker we will be able to enjoy meals together with our loved ones.”

The NHS had offered all those in the first four priority groups a vaccine by the middle of February and are now working through the remaining groups.

Dr Nikki Kanani, national director for primary care at NHS England and practising GP, said: “We need to continue to build confidence in the vaccine amongst certain communities, and we are working hard to improve uptake, delivering vaccines at faith and community centres and providing information in multiple languages.

“I am so grateful for the support brought by Nadiya, Asma and Saliha, who can help us to reassure people that the vaccine is safe, effective and our best way out of the pandemic.”

Dr Nikki Kanani
Dr Nikki Kanani (Adam Davy/PA)

Minister for Covid-19 vaccine deployment Nadhim Zahawi said: “Vaccines are a medical marvel and have saved countless lives around the world from a number of terrible diseases.

“It’s fantastic to see some of TV’s top chefs underlining the importance of getting vaccinated for Covid-19 and we are hugely grateful for their support.

“The Government is working hard with the NHS to boost vaccine uptake across a range of communities, and will continue to work with directors of public health, charities and faith leaders to provide advice and public health information to as many individuals as possible.”

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