VHS is holding an online event on 24th August 2021 to discuss the findings and recommendations of its report ‘Vaccine Inclusion – Reducing inequalities one Vaccine at a time’.
The report presents research carried out in February and Marcy 2021, presenting voluntary sector perspectives and evidence concerning both barriers and enablers to accessing the COVID-19 vaccine.
The key messages from the report are that our health system has a clear moral and human rights duty to those vulnerable groups who fall through the gaps of public service provision, to ensure that they are not failed by this crucially important public health intervention. Some of the key demographics highlighted within the research are at very high risk if they do contract COVID-19, including people who are homeless, prisoners, people living in poverty, people who abuse drugs and alcohol, black and ethnic minority groups, gypsy travellers, refugees and asylum seekers.
The report calls against viewing the Covid-19 vaccine programme as a silo: the programme has to be part of a whole-system, preventative approach to public health and to health inequalities. This requires a joined up suite of interventions that not only help people access the vaccine but supports them to stay well afterwards and enables them to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations safely.
The conclusions and recommendations include a call for improvements in the communications about the vaccine and highlight the pressing need to gather and analyse local data about the uptake of the vaccine by different communities and groups. The report calls for a rolling programme of outreach vaccination clinics, services and events, as well as provision of accessible, affordable transport to vaccine centres and clinics. Finally, the report highlights the importance of involving third sector and community partners in the planning, communications and delivery of the vaccine and other public health interventions that could help prevent, mitigate and reduce health inequalities.
Since its publication in April the report has had a significant influence on policy makers and public health practitioners and a Scotland-wide Covid-19 vaccine inclusive programme is now being developed.
Book your place for the event on 24th August here.