James O'Brien caller blames 'fear of eugenics' for jab hesitancy in ethnic minorities

8 February 2021, 10:58

By Fiona Jones

This caller told James O'Brien that the reason he and other people of colour are hesitant to have the Covid vaccine is due to a "fear of eugenics."

His comments came after a slow uptake of the vaccine from ethnic communities has prompted a vaccine centre to close early three days in a row.

The John Scott vaccination centre in Hackney, a diverse area of inner London, has said the patient uptake is "really low" despite it being open to serve the boroughs of Hackney and City of London.

Ray from Ramsgate told James he is black and there is a "lack of trust" amongst ethnic minorities who are "still waiting for data" on why their communities are dying "exponentially" during the pandemic.

James posited that surely this would be ever the more reason for people of colour to have the jab, asking the caller why there is vaccine skepticism.

Ray responded: "In a nutshell, the fear of eugenics."

"Then why are all the white people taking it and why is that not an argument against your skepticism?" James asked.

"That's exactly how eugenics works," Ray said, citing the lack of data, to which James responded that his mum has had the jab yet seen no data about her own ethnicity.

James tried to surmise: "You worry that the vaccine contains something that will do harm specifically to black people and you believe they're not telling you about it?"

Ray said he did not say that but also pointed out that no one has confirmed this to be a false allegation, and there is no one representing him communicating this.

He said "my myself and I" represents Ray and told James that he will only get vaccinated if he sees the "long awaited data" on ethnic minorities dying more than white people.

Read more: 'BAME experts at briefings could solve jab hesitancy in minorities': Professor Sir Geoff Palmer