Sir Lenny Henry has written an open letter to encourage black Britons to take the Covid-19 vaccine, signed by some of the most high-profile names in the UK.

12 Years a Slave actor and Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, author Malorie Blackman, actor Thandiwe Newton, football pundit Garth Crooks, performer George the Poet and musician KSI, radio personality Trevor Nelson and Bridgerton start Adjoa Andoh are among those who have put their names to the letter which encourages black adults in the UK to make informed decisions about the vaccine and protect themselves and the people they care for by getting vaccinated when their turn comes.

Sir Lenny's letter, supported by the NHS, has also been turned into a powerful short film, directed by BAFTA Award winner Amma Asante, which features Lenny alongside Adrian Lester, David Harewood, Naomie Ackie, Rt Rev Rose Hudson Wilkin, Bishop of Dover and Adjoa Andoh.

Sir Lenny Henry said:

"I felt it was important to do my bit and so I wrote this letter to black Britain asking people not to get left behind, to not continue to be disproportionately impacted and to trust the facts from our doctors, professors and scientists, not just in the UK but across the world, including the Caribbean and Africa.

"I hear and understand the concerns which people of all backgrounds are wrestling with, but which are particularly concerning in black communities. I want people to be safe, I don't want people to die or end up in hospital because of Covid-19. So I'm saying, when your turn comes, take the jab.

"I want to thank everyone who has signed the letter and dear friends who took part in Amma's beautiful film."

More than 30 million people have now received their first Covid-19 vaccine dose, meaning over half of the UK's adult population have been vaccinated and will soon develop strong protection from serious illness, saving lives and significantly reducing pressures on the NHS.

Television veteran Sir Lenny says he understands the concerns of many in the black community but tells them he doesn't want their concerns about the jab to leave them disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

An ONS survey taken from 13th January to 7th February shows that less than half (49%) of black or black British adults reported that they were likely to have the vaccine and NHS data shows that only 466,000 black or black British adults have had a first dose of the vaccine so far.

People who have received a letter inviting them for a jab can log on to the national booking service at and choose from 1,700 vaccination sites. Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m., seven days a week. For more information on the Covid-19 vaccine, visit: