Mayor to discuss vaccine in the BAME community

Andy Street joins expert panel for COVID-19 vaccine webinar.

The Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street (pictured) is joining a panel of scientists, academic and faith professionals as part of a holistic health webinar organised by the Church of God of Prophecy and its partner churches on Sunday 31st January at 6.30pm.

The Illuminate Holistic Health Webinar will be hosted by Bishop Tedroy Powell and Shermara Fletcher Director of the William Seymour Project and will have an honest and open-minded discussion on the efficacy of the various COVID 19 vaccine amongst the Black, African & Caribbean community from a theological and faith perspective.

In Birmingham alone the uptake of the vaccine in some of the city’s most vulnerable communities was last week as low as 50%. This low uptake in the Black, African & Caribbean community is a global issue, so the discussion will aim to address the vast amount of misinformation with creditable factual information on the vaccine’s safety.

The discussion is open to the public and will also be available to view on the Church’s You Tube channel.

Taking part in the discussion alongside Andy Street will be Professor Wilmore C. Webley, a Director of Pre-Med/Pre-Health Advising at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also serves on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Vaccines and Immunization, the Journal of Medical Microbiology and Diagnosis and the Journal of Microbiology & Experimentation. His research focuses on infectious disease mechanisms and the role of specific infections in chronic diseases.

Also present will be Dr Garrick Wilson, who oversees Convergence Science Training at Imperial College London and the Institute of Cancer Research, Dr Amanda Brown-Bennett a Counselling Psychologist and clinical supervisor and Dr William Ackah, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at Birkbeck University of London. He is current chair of the Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race an international organization that brings together academics, community activists and faith leaders with the aim of tackling injustices faced by people of African descent around the world.

Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands, has been meeting with the region’s faith leaders regularly and will be discussing with the panel how best to work with the NHS and Public Health England to alleviate people’s concerns and get them vaccinated and protected against the virus.

Bishop Llewellyn Graham, Area Leader for CoGoP churches in the Black Country and Chief Executive of Midlands-based Nehemiah Housing Association comments: “We are honoured to have such a panel of experts to discuss this highly important topic and we hope that by recording the event and publishing on You Tube it means it can be easily shared or shown to family members, shared on social media and, is a quick and easy way to reach people in different communities.”

“I think it’s really important than members of the local Black, African & Caribbean communities do their bit to protect their families and themselves from the virus.

“The message I hope we get out to the local community is that the vaccine is safe and effective and will protect people we all work with and care for.”

Further information on how to take part in the discussion and to put questions to the panel can be directed to Angela Mason at the Church of God of Prophecy – email