A diverse panel of health and care experts from across Swindon, Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset are set to chair an online question and answer session.
The aim is to help provide reassurance on the coronavirus vaccine to concerned people from the region’s black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
Among the speakers who will be taking part in the online session are Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality for the Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Nima Satish, a GP based at Westrop Medical Practice in Swindon, and Steve Maddern, Director of Public Health at Swindon Borough Council.
Taking place virtually between 6pm and 7.30pm on Thursday, 4 March, the Opening Doors conversation will allow those with concerns about the coronavirus vaccine to put their questions directly to local health and care experts.
It is hoped that by providing a safe online forum in which all people, especially those from BAME communities, can ask questions and seek information, more people will be open to receiving the vaccine.
The event will also be an opportunity for local people to offer feedback on the locations of current vaccine clinics.
National research suggests there is a higher degree of vaccine hesitancy in people from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.
Gill May, Director of Nursing and Quality, said: “We know that many of the people who have concerns about the vaccine are from our BAME communities, and it is these groups that the data shows are most at risk from serious illness after catching covid-19.
“The aim of this event is to listen to concerns, provide genuine up-to-date information and dispel any rumours that may be causing anyone to think twice about having the vaccine.
“With the end of lockdown now on the horizon, we want to ensure that as we return to a more open way of living, all people in our cities, towns and villages have been protected, and are able to do all the things they once did in as safe a way as possible.”
The Opening Doors online question and answer session is open to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Any person wishing to join the event, which will take place on video-calling platform Zoom, should send an email with their name to firstname.lastname@example.org
Information on the local vaccination programme can be found online at www.bswccg.nhs.uk