CORONATION Street star Shelley King is encouraging black, asian and minority ethnic communities across Oldham to take up the COVID19 vaccine after receiving her first jab earlier this month.

The 65 year old Anglo-Indian actress, who has played Corrie favourite Yasmeen Nazir since 2014 has recorded a personal message to encourage people in the communities served by the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, including thousands of staff working across our hospital and community services, to do everything they can to protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities by having the jab as soon as they’re offered it.

She said: “The vaccine really is the only logical way for all of us to return to a way of living that many of us took for granted before so I would absolutely encourage people of all ethnicities across all of our local communities in Greater Manchester to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to, and to encourage their families and friends to do the same, for the sake of our health, our safety and for the sake of humanity as a whole.”

The Northern Care Alliance has already administered more than 70,000 vaccinations to the vast majority of its own 19,000 strong workforce, as well as eligible patients and local residents across Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford where it provides hospital and community services to millions of people every year.

But as highlighted by England's deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van Tam earlier this month, some BAME communities are still uncertain about taking up the vaccine, which is driving concerns about misinformation and the damage it could do.

Raj Jain, chief executive officer at the NCA said: “I'd like to extend our thanks to Shelley for her support and would echo her views on the need for us to dispel the myths we know are out there. We would like to reassure our BAME staff and all of the wider communities we serve."