The letter urges black adults in the UK to make informed decisions about the vaccine and to protect themselves and those in their care by getting vaccinated.
The letter was signed by 12 Years a Slave actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, author Malorie Blackman, actor Thandie Newton, Bridgerton star Adjoa Andoh, performer George the Poet, musician KSI and personality of Trevor Nelson radio.
“Because we love you – we want you to be safe and we don’t want you to be left out or left behind. As other communities rush to get the vaccine and millions of people have already been vaccinated, some black people in our community are being more careful, ”the letter notes.
It comes after analysis by the Bureau of National Statistics found marked differences in vaccine intake between different groups. People over 70 of black African descent in England are 7.4 times more likely to not have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine than people of white British descent.
The analysis showed that the lowest rate was among those who identify as Black Africans (58.8%), followed by Black Caribbean (68.7%) and those of Bangladeshi descent (72 , 7%) and Pakistani (74.0%).
Henry said: “I thought it was important to do my part so I wrote this letter to black Britain to ask people not to be left behind, not to continue to be affected. disproportionately and trusting the facts of our doctors, professors and scientists, not just in the UK but around the world, including the Caribbean and Africa.
“I hear and understand the concerns that people from all walks of life grapple with, but which are of particular concern in black communities. I want people to be safe, I don’t want people to die or end up in hospital because of Covid-19. So I say, when your turn comes, take the hit.
The NHS-backed letter was also made into a short film directed by Bafta Prize-winning Amma Asante, which features Henry alongside Adrian Lester, David Harewood and Naomi Ackie. The film will air on Sky, BT Sport, Viacom, Discovery, A&E and ROK between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Asante said she was pushed to create the film because of her concern about the impact of Covid-19 on the black community. “I wanted to make a film that recognizes the concerns of black people while clarifying why the vaccine is so important and why we deserve to protect our lives and those of our loved ones,” she said.
She added, “The message of the film and the reason I wanted to do it is that our lives, and those of our loved ones, deserve to be protected. It is in this loving nature and approach that the film fits.
“Everyone involved in the film is black and British. I’ve never seen anything like this onscreen before, it’s for us and by us speaking directly to the needs of the black community. We wanted to approach this problem as an extended family.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England, said: “We know our black communities have been some of the hardest hit during this pandemic, but we also know that some of us are less likely to show up for the life-saving vaccine.
“We can all play a role in encouraging our friends and family to accept it when it is offered, whether it is to answer questions or concerns they may have, directing them to information and advice. advice from reliable sources, sharing our own experiences with vaccination or refusal. to convey the myths and disinformation circulating on social networks. “