James O'Brien caller 'in disbelief' his wife will not have Covid jab

8 February 2021, 11:53 | Updated: 8 February 2021, 12:05

By Fiona Jones

This black caller tells James O'Brien he "can't believe" his wife is refusing to take the Covid jab - but added that people in minority communities would "ridicule" him if he challenged this skepticism.

His comments come 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.

Alongside this, a study has found 72% of black Britons say they are unlikely to be vaccinated against the virus and many would refuse the jab.

Caller Joe told James he is black and is more than willing to get the vaccine - however his black wife of 20 years is refusing to take the Covid jab.

"I can't believe it," Joe said, "but then I do believe it because in my community I would not walk into a room of my peers and tell them I'm taking the vaccine. I would be ridiculed, I would be put down."

He said that he has heard the excuses not to have the jab that callers had presented earlier in James's programme, which includes one caller's claim that vaccine hesitancy amongst BAME communities comes from a "fear of eugenics."

Joe said he would not put money on his even his black doctor friends having no skepticism about the jab, as it is "so inbred."

"It is down to a deep sense of mistrust..my wife will sit there and believe that I can take the same injection to you and it will kill me but not kill you. That doesn't make any sense to me," Joe said, "there's nothing I can do to change that."

Joe posited that her reason for not taking it is because she trusts in God - but he also added she is more than willing to take other medicine.

"It all comes from a deep-rooted fear that people are out to harm black people," Joe said.

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