As part of our new 'Vaccine engagement starts at home' initiative, we are ramping up our efforts to provide you with the necessary support to engage with the public. With our new #ExploreVaccines campaign, we want to give your expert voice the spotlight starting from Thursday 25 March 2021 and with a renewed focus on Thursdays from then.
On Thursday 25 March, the British Society for Immunology held a mass online public engagement day to explore how COVID-19 vaccines work and the importance of vaccination. Building on the success of our #CelebrateVaccines campaign, we called on BSI members to join us in our mission to strengthen public understanding of vaccinations for COVID-19.
It was a fantastic start but the conversation on COVID-19 vaccinations is not over – this is your chance to gather as a strong community. Scroll down to find out how you can get involved in a critical and meaningful movement!
Find your way to #ExploreVaccines
There are many ways to play a role in informing the public about COVID-19 vaccination. Immunologists are ideally placed to be expert sources of knowledge in these vital dialogues, but as a diverse community, each person will have their own approach and style. We want to encourage you to find your vaccine engagement path and support you in the process.
We have chosen the when, you can now choose the what and the how. There is a wide range of concepts to explore, strategies to embark on conversations and channels to reach the public. To help you in this journey, we have developed five characters that we believe exemplify different aspects of effective public engagement:
- The open book. Tell your story. Make a video or write a piece about what you do as a scientist and your personal experience with vaccines. Please remember to tag @britsocimm so we can amplify your message.
- The sounding board. Listen to concerns, understand worries and acknowledge frustrations from the public by using the BSI graphics. Head to our social media toolkit to find a range of resources you can use.
- The helping hand. Lift others up. Lots of immunologists have been engaging with the public. In this page we have collected a range of activities and resources from BSI members so you can share their videos, blogs, webinars and more.
- The magnifying glass. Go in depth into a particular area or concern – you can choose one of the top five questions from our vaccine guide to address this week.
- The bridge builder. Engage with your community and help build a supportive forum to connect others to your expert knowledge. Find inspiration with our case studies which showcase examples of how BSI members are COVID-19 vaccine ambassadors.
We hope these suggestions are helpful and we welcome any others that work for you. You can also choose a mixture of these different styles and evolve from one to another as you discover your approach.
On Thursday 25 March we ran a webinar on “COVID-19 vaccine conversations: discovering your path to effective public engagement”. We selected an expert panel to share their experience and give you the tools to discover your approach to effective engagement. The recording of the live session will be available soon for all to watch.
We can all be positive role models for vaccination, in our own way.