A councillor says he is concerned by the lack of faith of Covid-19 vaccinations and rise in misinformation within black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.

Cllr Asif Khan, chair of Watford Labour, received his first Covid-19 vaccination jab today (February 16) as he volunteers at the vaccination centre in Watford Town Hall.

However, he also used this opportunity to express the importance of vaccinations, particularly within minority ethnic groups where there has been a rise of vaccine misinformation and hesitancy.

It comes after the Centre for Countering Digital Hate revealed that antivaxers are specifically targeting black and Asian communities by spreading through social media and Whatsapp.

Talking on his vaccination, Cllr Khan said: “I have been volunteering regularly at the vaccine centre at Watford Town Hall. As a volunteer I was given a vaccine too.

“I really want to encourage people to get vaccinated, I am concerned that there is a lower uptake of black, Asian and other ethnic minorities with the vaccines and I want to show that there is no stigma with taking it.

“I would encourage people when they have been called by the NHS, to get vaccinated.”

Cllr Asif Khan getting his first jab

Cllr Asif Khan getting his first jab

Addressing one common concern among those hesitant in taking a vaccine, he said: “The staff were wonderful and understanding and there are minor side effects, like any other vaccine.

“But more importantly it will ensure that you and your loved ones are kept safe.”

Hornets legend Luther Blissett has also encouraged more communities to get a jab after he received his first vaccine.

He explained: “Covid-19 does discriminate and I know many ethnic communities have been devastated by losses because of the risks we face. So, I hope that I can encourage those communities locally to have a vaccination.

“We would all put our faith in the NHS and medicine if we caught the virus, so we should do the same, and if it means we can avoid catching it, people are saved.”

The Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, also announced he received his first jab this morning as he volunteers at the vaccination centre.