The Dark Destroyer shines a light on COVID and the vaccine

11 October 2021

A new film hosted by star of The Chase and Brent resident, Shaun Wallace, shines a light on how COVID has impacted his community and the reasons why getting the vaccine has been a difficult decision for many.

Familiar to millions as ‘The Dark Destroyer’ on TV Quiz show The Chase, Shaun is also well known in Brent where he grew up and still lives today. In collaboration with Brent Council, he has now made a short film about COVID and the vaccine.

The film explores Shaun’s own questions about the vaccine and explains why many in the Black Caribbean community feel hesitant about getting the jab. “I can understand the reason why they are so reticent,” he explains in the film, drawing on various concerns including historic mistrust of vaccines and the fact the vaccine was developed so quickly.

However, Shaun reveals he eventually got vaccinated and explains how he was able to overcome his initial concerns. “Over time I was won in relation to the various clinical trials which were conducted in relation to the two leading vaccines in this country and it eventually persuaded me that its effectiveness was not only for my betterment, but I think for the betterment of the whole of our community.”

Shaun also speaks to another well-known member of the Black Caribbean community, Leroy Simpson, about his experiences as CEO of Harlesden Mutual Aid. In a moving scene both men talk of friends they have lost as well as the impact on the wider community.

Cllr Neil Nerva, Brent’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture and Leisure, said, “The film is a brilliant reflection of what it has been like to live through the pandemic and some of the issues that have impacted on people deciding to get the vaccine.

“As Leroy says in the film, it is your personal choice not to take the vaccine, but how does it impact on your community? It perfectly sums up why the vaccine is so important, while respecting the fact we must all decide whether to get the jab or not.”

The release of the film comes in the wake of the recent closure of the Mass Vaccination Centre in Wembley and many of the pop-up sites. In spite of this, the opportunity to get the vaccine has not passed and there are still plenty of places in Brent to get your jab.

Various sites around the borough, including many pharmacies, are offering the vaccine. Likewise, while the vaccine bus is not going out as often as before, it is still making targeted visits to parts of the borough where uptake is lowest two days each week.

“There’s now been around 95 million doses of the vaccine given in the UK, so we’re in a very different place to January when people were first offered the vaccine,” said Cllr Nerva. “Personally, I think the case is far more compelling now, but like Shaun and Leroy, I would echo that it is everyone’s choice.

“COVID’s still here and we must learn to live with it. I believe the vaccination is the best way to keep yourself and your community safe, but regardless of where you stand, I would urge you to watch this film and make up your own mind if you are still unvaccinated.”

You can watch the film on the Council’s YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/j0uv2rUTkscFor more information go to www.brent.gov.uk/vaccine

 

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