'Hesitancy' over Covid-19 vaccine in Luton is one of highest in UK, says British Red Cross

"Hesitancy" over taking the Covid-19 vaccine in Luton is one of the highest in country, according to data gathered by the British Red Cross

Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:05 pm
Updated Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:08 pm

The British Red Cross has launched a campaign to help tackle resistance over the jab by encouraging people in Luton to have informed conversations with their loved ones.

New research, carried out as part of the campaign, suggests talking about the vaccine with family and friends is most important for black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) British people.

Luton Borough Council recently created a video of community leaders receiving the vaccine, in order to increase uptake in the town.

Luton has been targeted for advertising to encourage uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine

Now, the British Red Cross has launched a website to encourage families to have informed conversations about the vaccine, based on facts not fiction. It includes an online information hub, and a short film showing real-life family conversations around getting vaccinated.

Online ads featuring BAME people giving their reason for getting the vaccine will appear across Luton, in addition to billboard ads on major roads, at the town's two railways stations and Luton Airport.

Luton has been targeted for advertising, based on data gathered by British Red Cross teams, which claims that vaccine hesitancy in the area is one of the highest in the country.

Professor Geeta Nargund, vice-chair of the British Red Cross and senior NHS consultant, said: “As a doctor, I know how important it is to reassure patients about the Covid-19 vaccine and address any concerns and hesitations they might have.

"Many people simply want to talk it through and also check if some of the information they have seen is accurate.

"Unfortunately, we know that people from BAME communities are far more likely to have received misinformation encouraging them not to have the vaccine.

"Critically, and especially for people from BAME communities, your family is also likely to play a big part in the decision to have the vaccine.

"When it comes to family, a key thing to remember is that by taking the vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself but also saving the lives of your loved ones. Having informed conversations about the vaccine is a kind thing to do, that saves lives."

The Red Cross says that BAME people are nearly twice as likely to get information on the vaccine from friends and family.

Family, along with healthcare professionals and scientists, are one of the most trusted sources of information about the vaccine. 81% of people from BAME communities say they would trust information from their family, which is higher than the government (66%) and the mainstream media (50%).

The majority (82%) of people from BAME communities who are vaccine hesitant say they could be convinced to have the vaccine. People are most concerned about side effects (57%), followed by the speed of production (36%) and ingredients (34%).

The British Red Cross says that while the data shows that there is still hesitancy around the vaccines, family conversations could be key to tackling hesitancy.

Visit the British Red Cross website for accurate, up-to-date information about the vaccine here.