Tobun joins Sir Lenny Henry in signing of Covid open letter
Tevin Tobun, CEO of GV Group, has joined hundreds of other leading black figures in the UK to encourage black Britons to see beyond online misinformation and consider taking the Covid-19 vaccine. After vaccination rates among black Britons were found to be considerably lower than among white Britons, comedian and actor, Sir Lenny Henry wrote an open letter urging people to “trust the facts” and guard against misinformation. Despite a widespread study suggesting that black people are twice as likely as white people to catch the coronavirus, vaccination rates for people in England identifying as having black African heritage stand at 58.8%, the lowest among all ethnic minority groups, and 68.7% within the black Caribbean community. For people identifying as white British, on the other hand, there is an estimated take-up rate of 91.3%. Sir Lenny attributed the disparity to an "element of mistrust" in the system, saying that people felt "certain institutions and authorities haven't particularly done right by the black community in the past”. His letter, which has also been turned into a short film directed by Bafta-winning filmmaker Amma Asante, has been signed by Tobun, along with other high-profile figures such as actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, YouTube star KSI, and actress Thandie Newton. Addressed to “mums, dads, grandparents, uncles, aunties, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, daughters, sons and cousins", the appeal recognises these historic "legitimate worries and concerns”, adding "we're asking you to trust the facts about the vaccine from our own professors, doctors, scientists involved in the vaccine's development, GPs, not just in the UK but across the world, including the Caribbean and Africa." Tevin Tobun said: “It is incredibly important that the message around vaccinations is clear amongst the black communities across the UK. The vaccine is the single most important means of helping us out of what has been an incredibly challenging time, especially for black and minority ethnic communities, where the impact of the pandemic has been proportionally greater both in terms of health risk and economic impacts. It is vital that we all do our research and read beyond the misinformation that often circulate online."