Research suggests that ethnic minorities in the UK are more reluctant to take the new coronavirus vaccine.

The UK was the first country to approve the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The first batch of 800,000 doses began to be administered on Tuesday 8 December.

The mass Covid-19 vaccination programme began with the elderly, health workers, and carers. Up to four million more doses are expected by the end of the month.

There have been some concerns and reluctance about taking the vaccine among ethnic minorities. Research from the Royal Society for Public Health suggests that 76% of the UK public would take the vaccine if advised to do so, but that number fell to 57% amongst black, Asian and people from minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Asians were the least likely to say yes, with vaccine confidence falling to 55%. The BBC’s Asian Network asked listeners to send in their questions about the vaccine to have them answered by experts. Listeners’ concerns ranged from the vaccine’s long-term effects to whether the ingredients are halal or vegetarian-friendly.

Divya Chadha Manek from the UK Vaccine Taskforce addresses their concerns in English. For those who may not have English as a first language, doctors have also answered the questions in five languages: GujaratiPunjabiSylhetiTamil and Urdu.

You can also find out more information about the vaccine rollout in the five South Asian languages here.