Vaccination project success in reaching ethnic minority groups
- Credit: SUPPLIED BY BSC MULTICULTURAL SERVICES
A project to vaccinate members of ethnic minorities, and disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community against the coronavirus has reached about 500 people so far.
BSC Multicultural Services (BSCMS), an award-winning charity based in Ipswich, has been working closely with Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG and local ethnic minority groups and communities to organise the vaccination sessions.
Among those vaccinated so far are people of Asian, African, Chinese, Turkish, Middle Eastern and Eastern European backgrounds.
This initiative is important for both BME people and the NHS as Covid-19 has affected members of these communities more than the wider population.
Government statistics have also consistently shown a lower take-up of vaccinations in these communities across the country.
Shayra Begum, co-ordinator of the project, said: "We worked very hard to reach some of the most socially marginalised and isolated individuals and groups.
"Thanks to our excellent links and contacts with members of these communities, we were able to successfully vaccinate around 500 people so far."
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Boshor Ali, chair of BSCMS, said: "This is a great achievement for BSCMS. I also want to thank all our partner organisations for their help and support. We hope our initiative will now encourage other BME people to come forward to receive their jabs."
BSCMS said it had proactively helped with the uptake of vaccines by raising awareness and understanding of the importance of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, dealing openly and honestly with understandable concerns and misunderstandings about the safety of the jab, making it very clear to individuals and community groups that the vaccination programme was optional and non-compulsory.
The charity said this open and transparent approach had enabled BSCMS to not only engage people of a diverse background but it also reassured them.
As a result, many local BME leaders and key influencers came on-board and gave their full backing to BSCMS to enable more ethnic minority people to receive the jab.
This project was a partnership initiative between BSCMS, Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG, NHS, local voluntary organisations and community groups in Ipswich and Suffolk.