Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq appeals for residents to take the Covid-19 vaccine
Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq appeals for residents to take the Covid-19 vaccine

This news first appeared in the Ealing Times, Chiswick W4, The Chiswick Calendar and Ealing Nub News.

Ealing community figures, faith leaders and local celebrities including ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq have joined forces to encourage people to take the Covid-19 vaccines.

In a video put out on Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq’s social media, figures including Mayor of Ealing Abdullah Qulaid and activist Grace Quansah are seen telling viewers why it is so important to take the vaccine when invited to do so.

Rupa Huq said the video – which has now received over 24,500 views on Twitter at the time of writing – was inspired by reports of vaccine hesitancy. Huq told us: “I had numerous conversations with everyone from Matt Hancock to neighbours where it was flagged that there is a degree of vaccine hesitancy in the population.

“I’d heard it said repeatedly that ethnic minorities are the most reluctant. Most recently on an Acton Residents’ Association call chaired by Councillor Hitesh Tailor it was stated that it’s young people who are most resistant.”

Huq coordinated the effort over four days assembling filmed clips from participants. The final product brings together a diverse range of voices, including the video’s true star, 91-year-old Marjorie Dearman of Brunswick Road, Ealing, a childhood neighbour of the Huq sisters.

Mrs Dearman is seen declaring: “I’m 91 and in my lifetime, I’ve seen polio, diphtheria and tetanus all eliminated by the vaccination. If we all take the vaccine, Covid can be too.” The edit features 1942 footage from an official government film encouraging parents to immunise their children against diphtheria.

Huq said: “One of my earliest memories dates back to the 70s when Aunty Marjorie (as I called her) was on the talent show Opportunity Knocks and way back before that she entertained British peacekeeping troops in North Africa and danced with Roy Castle in her native Yorkshire.”

Black Mirror creator and satirist Charlie Brooker can be seen warning against “dangerous” online misinformation. And Acton resident James McVey of The Vamps describes how he can’t wait to get back to touring.

The Reverend Nick Jones of St Mary’s Acton appears twice. The church had been earmarked as a vaccination centre at one stage before other Ealing venues were established. The latest vaccination centre on Mattock Lane can be viewed in the video.

The video was cut together by Finley Harnett from Huq’s office, who suggested that future videos were on the way. “I urge everyone reading this to share Rupa’s vaccine appeal video far and wide,” he said.

You can watch the video at Twitter (https://twitter.com/RupaHuq/status/1358019368383315970), Facebook (https://fb.watch/3ynXPvpL2H/) and Rupa Huq’s website (https://www.rupahuq.org.uk/2021/02/09/rupa-huq-mps-covid-19-vaccine-appeal/).

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