A key aim of the British Society for Immunology is to increase public understanding of the science and importance of vaccination. We collaborate with local authorities and public health organisations to train community leaders to have effective conversations about vaccinations with their peers. Working in partnership with organisations that support local communities and health care workers, combining our expertise in immunology with the expertise of local area and people, is powerful in reaching wide audiences and increasing impact. We have worked with the London Borough of Bexley, Birmingham City Council and Newcastle City Council to run training for effective conversations around vaccines.
How does the training work?
Our training works with people who hold social capital and are trusted sources, including community champions, faith leaders and health care professionals. Each training programme is co-designed with the users and tailored specifically to their needs. The online, interactive session are facilitated by the BSI and delivered by immunology scientists skilled in engagement and with specialist knowledge. We provide participants with information of how vaccines work as well as the tools to have effective conversations, answering questions and addressing concerns from their families, friends, colleagues and contacts, thus developing a network of vaccine champions and ultimately driving vaccine uptake.
You can read more about how the programme was piloted with the London Borough of Bexley in 2021 to train community champions and health and social care workers around COVID-19 vaccinations. We have since expanded the vaccine conversation beyond COVID-19 and have developed training for childhood vaccines, vaccines for older adults such as the flu vaccine, and the HPV vaccine. Find out more about our training delivered with Newcastle City Council and Birmingham City Council in 2022, including case studies from our partners and participants.
Outcomes and impact
Those who complete the training report positive experiences, with 100% in Bexley and Birmingham and 91% in Newcastle strongly agreeing or agreeing that they:
- Feel better informed and more knowledgeable about vaccines
- Feel more confident to have effective conversations about vaccines with their peers
- Increase the number of people they regularly talk to about vaccinations.
The training is very well structured and presented with professional expertise and backed up by evidence and data. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Get in touch
Vaccine champions make a difference within their communities. We have expert scientists around the country keen to engage and we can provide support through our training. If you're interested in working with us to train community leaders, health care workers or other groups on vaccinations, please get in touch with Erika Aquino, Public Engagement Manager by emailing email@example.com