Black majority churches join forces to show support for Covid-19 vaccine amid hesitation from congregations to take the jab.
Leaders from 60 of the UK's black majority churches joined forces on Sunday to show their support for the Covid-19 vaccine to their congregations.
They said they support the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine programme, and urged their congregations to seek out the facts about the vaccine from trusted sources.
The alliance of Christian leaders, which includes Bishop of Dover the Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, said they felt compelled to act after data suggested black people are among those most likely to be hesitant about receiving the Covid-19 vaccine.
They also added that they have either already been vaccinated or that they will get the vaccine when it is their turn.
Bishop Hudson-Wilkin said: "When you are offered the Covid vaccine, please take it. This is our chance to show we care for ourselves and our neighbours. Don't let misinformation rob you of your opportunity to protect yourself and others."
The initiative has been organised by Christian umbrella organisations Churches Together in England, Evangelical Alliance and YourNeighbour.
A total of 17,254,844 Covid-19 vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and February 26, according to provisional NHS England data, including 16,679,881 first doses.
More than three in four people aged 65 to 70 took up the offer of a vaccination, according to NHS England.
NHS England said the latest batch of invites arriving this week will mean everyone in the first seven priority groups will have been offered a jab, with people aged between 50 and 60 set to be invited shortly.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "Since around four fifths of 65-69 year olds have now been vaccinated, we're rapidly working our way down the generations, with people ages 60 plus now able to come forward.
"As expected vaccine supply increases in March, we're planning for further acceleration as we head towards Easter."
Additional reporting by PA