Gay NHS doctor among first to receive coronavirus vaccine is dancing to Beyoncé and J-Lo to bust harmful myths
A gay NHS doctor has taken to TikTok to encourage take-up of the coronavirus vaccine and tackle misinformation.
Dr Mark Perera, who works as an NHS doctor in east London, has taken to the platform as ‘@DoctorGayUK‘ to help educate people about the jab.
The doctor, who was among frontline healthcare workers to be offered the jab this month, has drawn on his dance skills to share information about the vaccine and bust harmful myths.
The doctor told PinkNews he took up TikTok to “drive more people to have the vaccine when eligible, also because I am a bit goofy and love dancing”.
He added: “As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ and BAME communities, I think it’s really important we calm fears with facts and open discussion.”
Gay doctor takes to TikTok to tackle vaccine conspiracies
His videos tackle harmful conspiracies being spread, such as the idea that the vaccine includes a microchip or will somehow harm minorities.
Noting the spread of anti-vax beliefs, Perera encouraged people to “look at the scientific facts” behind the vaccines.
He said: “The three main vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca) have all been tested rigorously and the evidence has clearly shown that 2 injections make most people immune to this virus
“Each country then evaluates the evidence and publishes its decision on safety approval. The UK have approved two of the vaccines, this is a collective effort of scientists and regulators.”
He added: “Whatever conspiracy theory you may have heard, please read the evidence yourself.
“Ultimately, as an adult, no one will force you to have this and it is your choice. Please make the right choice for your family and your community.”
LGBT+ community encouraged to do their bit
With vaccines currently only available for over-80s, frontline staff and care home residents in the UK, it will be some time before others can benefit.
Research also suggests that minority groups including LGBT+ people may be more sceptical than the general population.
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But Perera added: “I would encourage our LGBTQ+ community to please have this vaccination when they become eligible because it’s free and it will protect you and the ones you love.
“More than 70,000 people in the UK have died in 2020 due to this virus, please don’t be part of the cases or deaths needlessly.
“Even just thinking a little selfishly, think about how will be able see your older family and friends again with much less risk. It’s been a lonely 2020, let’s all try and bring life back to normal.”