We asked Tower Hamlets council what they were doing to educate residents about the benefit of the Covid-19 vaccines and here is a very comprehensive list telling you exactly that.

Tower Hamlets Council is actively engaging with residents around the issue of vaccine safety on multiple levels.

• Our Covid-19 Ambassadors are on the streets talking one-to-one with residents (including in community languages)
• We have 365 Covid-19 Community Champions who form a network of residents receiving regular updates to share with friends, family and others; through weekly webinars with them, we can provide accurate information whilst getting a good sense of the issues and concerns of our residents, helping us to tailor our response.

Listening to residents

• We are listening to the concerns and questions from residents exposed to misinformation and are proactively putting information out there to set the record straight and encourage uptake.
• For example we worked with NHS colleagues on a video featuring GPs and medical experts addressing key concerns

Bengali e-newsletter

• Our fortnightly Bengali e-newsletter provides updates on vaccine programme, safety efficacy and why it is important for everyone to take up vaccination
• We work closely with faith groups and community leaders on delivering key messages on vaccine safety to the communities they serve.

Promoted film with ELM

• Promoted film with partner East London Mosque specifically tailored for faith communities about the vaccine and why it is individual duty to get vaccinated to protect oneself and the communities
• Shared video from Somali partner organisation, Women’s Inclusive Team about vaccine specifically to reach our Somali community

Highlight vaccine stories of local heroes

• Our film where Mr Choudhury talks about his experience and being protected after vaccine, in Bengali with English subtitles, is being featured in our Bengali e-newsletter
• Along with traditional council channels, these videos have been shared through community and engagement routes such as Community WhatsApp groups, our Covid-19 champions network and partner networks including InterFaith Forum, QMUL, local NHS (all partners in Covid-19 communications pandemic group which meets weekly to share insight / work on Covid-19 and vaccines and together to increase reach of messages and work)

Leaflets in community languages

• We are developing leaflets on vaccines, in English and community languages to be handed out by our Covid-19 ambassadors on the ground and also shared through food banks, testing sites, partner organisations and idea stores etc.
• To help counter vaccine hesitancy among Black residents, we’ve filmed with a Black doctor and followed the journey of vaccination for a Black patient to specifically reach out to this group and encourage confidence in vaccine and uptake. The film will be published on council channels from next week

Outdoor vaccine messages

• Planning vaccine messages in our outdoor advertising spaces at next availability; Spaces currently have stay at home message which is critical and continues to be important. We are sourcing case studies of residents from different ethnic communities who have been vaccinated and can share their experience and why they got vaccinated – adding human element encourage uptake

Focus groups

• Looking to commission focus groups with top ethnic groups in the borough to generate greater local insight into what messages, visuals and campaigns resonate with them, to build wider local insight
• Dedicated vaccines webpage which we update to include latest information on vaccines and programme locally
• Planning on new material on vaccine safety for difficult to reach groups, like the hard of hearing and visually impaired
• Our public health team plan to hold vaccine Q&A session for residents to answer questions from residents or discuss issues/concerns. There will be sessions held in community languages to ensure inclusive for all our residents in the borough

Our work on encouraging vaccine take up is ongoing and constantly developing to meet the challenges as the vaccine roll out continues.

Remember folks – don’t be sad, get the jab!

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As community journalists we do exactly what it says on our tin – we work for the community.

In Tower Hamlets, which covers most of London’s East End, that means we spend a lot of time investigating allegations of political corruption.

It is an unfortunate fact that the poorest local authority in the country is still beset by the highest levels of corruption.

As Love Wapping we were instrumental in exposing the electoral corruption of Mayor Lutfur Rahman.