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RAF Squadron Leader issues heartfelt COVID-19 vaccination plea

News

03 Mar 2022

A plea has been issued by the brother of a women who died after contracting COVID-19 while unvaccinated, asking others get protected so they can avoid the same heartache he and his family have suffered.

Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Amir Khan has used his personal experience to deliver a powerful reminder that COVID-19 continues to claim lives. He decided to record the video after seeing TV images of people in intensive care units, the drugs used to keep them alive and exhausted NHS staff trying their hardest to deliver health care.

“Life is short,” he explains in the video. “Our family recently lost our sister…the pain is real. What our family has suffered is real. My sister leaves behind daughters and a son.”

Sqn Ldr Khan, who is Pashtun and from Bradford, is fully vaccinated and says he isn’t worried about what is in the vaccine, any more than he is about what is in over-the-counter pain killers or in his shower gel.

“Please help each other and help our NHS staff. Get vaccinated!” he says at the end of the short video.

The recording is one of several community efforts by the Race Equality Network, other voluntary community services and Bradford district and Craven health services, to reach out to communities and explain how the COVID-19 vaccine can help them and their loved ones to avoid serious illness and hospitalisation from the virus.

The video is available through social media and is being shared by community leaders and groups in Bradford district and Craven via WhatsApp, although it is hoped it will be shared further afield across other channels including social media such as YouTube.

Speaking of his decision to make the video Sqn Ldr Khan said: “As a member of your Royal Air Force my job is to protect the society we serve. I choose to make this video to highlight the importance of the vaccine in the battle to defeat this terrible virus with the sole aim, so no other family suffer the pain we did. Days before her admission to the Bradford Royal Infirmary my sister was planning to book her vaccine.”

Bradford district and Craven Senior Responsible Officer Karen Dawber said:” We are very grateful to Squadron Leader Khan for sharing the grief he and his family are going through and using their experience to try and spread the message about how important it is to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We offer him and his family our condolences on the loss of his sister.

“His message is relevant to all of us, wherever and whatever our community. We hope it will be shared widely and have the impact we all wish for – no more loss of life due to the virus and being able to return to a normal life because we are all protected through vaccination.”

Project Manager at Race Equality Network, Humma Nizami, said: “Our heartfelt condolences go to Squadron Leader Amir Khan and his family on the loss of his sister. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can significantly lower the risk of hospitalisation which could unfortunately result in death. I would urge all communities to take up the vaccine to protect themselves and their loved ones.”

You can view Sqn Ldr Khan’s appeal by clicking on the following YouTube link.

Anyone needing a vaccination can book an appointment at www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine or by calling 119. Details of local walk-in clinics are available on Bradford District and Craven CCG’s website at www.bit.ly/CovidVaccineBDC

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