FAITH, community and tireless efforts to promote the vaccine has helped guide Bradford’s Hindu Council and the Hindu community through the most “challenging” months of the pandemic.
In an interview held by the T&A and leading healthcare professional Dr Mahendra Patel, members of Bradford Hindu Council and priests gathered to reflect on the pandemic which has seen many loved ones lost to the virus.
Mahesh Mistry, the chairperson of Bradford Hindu Council, said they have been acting as a “funnel” for coronavirus updates.
“We’ve been asking round in our communities if there’s anyone concerned about the vaccine or refusing to take it,” he said.
“From our network, we don’t know one family or person within the Hindu community that doesn’t want to have the vaccine. They’re probably crying out for the vaccine rather than the latter.
“Behind us is the whole community we represent, any messages that come to us get fed back into the community and we feedback as the funnel as to whichever relevant body.
“If there’s anybody that’s got any concerns they would come and speak to me. People will approach us and if there’s anything we need to find out we find the right person to get the questions to.”
In light of recent discussions about the term ‘BAME’ as reported in the British Medical Journal, Dr Patel says how important it is for the Government to recognise that there are a number of cultures and societal norms under the umbrella term which might affect uptake.
Dr Patel said: “As we have heard today the Hindu community is showing comparatively very little hesitancy towards having the vaccine which is very different to the messages we’ve seen under the use of the wider term of ‘BAME communities’.
“It’s coming back to that old message that one size doesn’t fit all. We need organisations like the Bradford Hindu Council and the likes of mosques, gurdwaras and churches to establish what their local needs are. – ultimately to help greater uptake of the vaccination.”