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England in India 2020-21 – Moeen Ali urges people to take Covid-19 vaccine

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Allrounder to Asian community: ‘There’s a lot of conspiracy theories out there, but it’s just medicine evolving’

Moeen Ali has urged people to take the Covid-19 vaccine and ignore “consipracy theories” amid concerns over low vaccination rates among ethnic minority groups.

Scientists are still trying to determine what level of immunity, if any, comes from having had Covid-19 but, having spent two weeks confined to a hotel room with the illness, which forced him to miss England’s two-Test victory in Sri Lanka, Moeen said he would “definitely” take the vaccine when it is eventually made available to him.

“At the minute I’d take it and urge others to do it,” he told reporters via Zoom from Chennai, where England are preparing to face India in four Tests. “Having spoken to people who know quite a bit about it, I’d take it and get my family and others to take it.

“It’s like any vaccine, there’s a lot of conspiracy theories out there, but it’s just medicine evolving. In our community, people are sometimes not sure whether to take something – a bit cautious – but for things to get back to normal, it’s important that we do it.”

His comments follow reports earlier this month that Muslim leaders around the UK would seek to reassure people about the safety of Covid-19 vaccines amid some scepticism and anxiety within their communities.

A study based on patient records in England this week revealed that among the one million people aged over 80 and not living in care homes, 43% of white people had received their first vaccine dose compared with only 30% of the Bangladeshi and Pakistani people in that group. The figure dropped to 21% among black people. That is despite black people being four times more likely, and those from Pakistani and Bangladeshi backgrounds being twice as likely to die with Covid-19 than their white counterparts.

Moeen, who is Muslim of Pakistani descent, tested positive for Covid-19 upon arriving with the England squad in Sri Lanka and spent 13 days in isolation with fairly mild symptoms as his team swept the series 2-0. Chris Woakes, who travelled from Birmingham to Heathrow in the same minibus, was in isolation for a week and continued to return negative tests, leading Moeen to believe he may have contracted the illness either “at the airport or on the plane”.

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