The Welsh Government are considering using mosques and other places of worship as vaccination clincics after concern that BAME communities were not taking up the vaccine at the same rate as others.
The Welsh Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, said that he wanted to emphasise that there was no danger to taking the vaccine for ethnic minorities.
According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, males of black African ethnic background had the highest rate of death involving Covid, 2.7 times higher than males of white ethnic background.
Females of black Caribbean ethnic background had the highest rate, twice as high as for females of white ethnic background.
“I want to be clear to no pork products or foetal matter in the vaccine, and it’s safe for all ethnic minority and faith communities.,” Vaughan Gething said.
Welsh Conservative Senedd leader Andrew RT Davies welcomed encouragement aimed at people in BAME communities to take up the offer of a Covid vaccination.
“The reasons for the disproportionate effect of coronavirus on BAME communities are complex and remain under investigation, but as we have sadly seen people in these communities have experienced greater levels of illness, while death rates have been proportionately higher than in the white population,” he said.
“I raised this issue last month with the health minister as I had serious concerns regarding some reports on take-up and misinformation about the components of the vaccinations that could be influencing members in Wales to reject it.
“It’s right ministers are tackling this problem head-on as it is vital all communities in Wales hear loud and clear the evidence that the vaccine is safe and suitable, and take up the offer of a vaccination when offered to benefit and protect all people in Wales.”
‘Not a race’
In today’s Welsh Government press conference Vaughan Gething thanked everyone for their efforts in bringing down Covid cases and vaccinating the population.
Today’s figures show there are around 115 cases of coronavirus per 100,000 people in Wales.
There are now 43 mass vaccination centres in Wales, more than 400 GP-led clinics are providing vaccines and clinics are taking place in 38 hospitals.
“The vaccination program going from strength to strength,” he said. “Almost 604,000 have received their first dose. Mid-Feb target of offering everyone in top four groups the vaccine.
“We’ve now vaccinated a larger proportion of the total population than any other part of the UK. But this isn’t a race between governments – it’s a race against the virus.”