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Cheshire and Merseyside health leaders launch drive to help Ethnic Communities feel safe about Covid-19 Vaccine following findings from insight research
Cheshire and Merseyside NHS is teaming up with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to launch a campaign promoting vaccine safety.
Using insight from local research, representatives from ethnic communities will address questions about the vaccine in a series of radio adverts, posters and social media adverts planned across the local area.
Findings from the research carried out in Cheshire and Merseyside are also being shared with senior health and social care leaders, to help ensure everyone has all the facts around the vaccine and nobody gets left behind.
Sonia Bassey MBE, who grew up in the L8 area of Liverpool and is a long-standing advocate for the local community, said: “We know that some communities have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, and it’s really important that we address any issues that might be stopping people taking up the vaccine when they are eligible.
“When you’re invited to receive your vaccine please take it up, and encourage friends and family to do the same. If you’ve got concerns, speak to a health professional to get the facts about why the vaccine is a safe, effective way of protecting yourself and those around you.”
The research surveyed people across the region from ethnic communities to develop an in-depth understanding of their experiences of COVID-19 and their views towards the vaccination.
It found that concerns about efficacy and fear of potential side effects are among the top reasons why a third (33%) of minority ethnic communities in Cheshire and Merseyside are reluctant to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Although overall uptake of the vaccine amongst the first four priority groups is now just under 90%, the uptake is lower amongst some ethnic minority communities, which the local NHS says is a concern, given the fact that these communities are being disproportionately affected by the virus.
Dr Fiza Salam is a Liverpool GP, and is vaccinating patients as part of the Central Liverpool Primary Care Network. She said: “We’re working hard to make sure that we make it as easy as possible for people across all of our communities to get vaccinated, because it’s such as important part of protecting both individuals and the wider population.
“Tens of millions of people have already received the vaccine in the UK alone, as well as many more in other countries across the world, and there have been no reported cases of serious harm from the vaccine. When you get your invitation please don’t delay coming forward.”
Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, Regional Director of Commissioning for NHS England and NHS Improvement and Senior Responsible Officer for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in the North West, said: “It is vital that everyone who is at a higher risk of infection has the right information and are reassured about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.
“Tens of thousands of people from the Cheshire and Merseyside patch, who identify themselves as being from an ethnic minority backgrounds and are eligible, have already had one dose of the vaccine and this is really positive.
The study, which was co-funded by Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, NHS England and NHS Improvement, Public Health England and Cheshire and Merseyside’s Directors of Public Health, surveyed 636 people from across Cheshire and Merseyside.
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