Community conversation about Covid-19 vaccine to kick off with free online event

Residents who want to know more about the Covid-19 vaccine are invited to a free online webinar to discuss their concerns and get answers to their questions.

Attendees to the free community event, hosted by Southwark Council but open to all, will have the opportunity to talk about the vaccine with a panel of people from the council, Public Health England, the NHS, and from faith organisations.

The panellists, including Public Health England’s regional director Professor Kevin Fenton, will share information about the vaccine, answering any questions and debunking myths currently being circulated about the vaccine.

Registration is now open for the online session on Monday 1 March, 6pm to 7.30pm, including the chance to submit questions to the panel in advance.

Confirmed panel members:

·       Cllr Evelyn Akoto, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Community Safety, Southwark Council

·       Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director, PHE London

·       Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive & General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing

·       Dr Olufemi Osonuga, Director – North Southwark Primary Care Network

·       Kirsten Watters, Deputy Director of Public Health, Southwark Council

·       Rt Revd Dr Woyin Karowei Dorgu – 13th Bishop of Woolwich and former doctor

Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England, said: “Vaccines are now a key part of our fight against this pandemic. The global response to developing and distributing these highly effective vaccines is like nothing we’ve seen before. Now that they are available in the UK, the priority is to protect as many Londoners as possible, reducing the risk of severe disease and death. Too many Londoners have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, paying with our physical health, mental wellbeing, livelihoods and lives. The vaccine gives us the best opportunity to put an end to this terrible disease.

“While more than 1.7 million doses have been given in London so far, we understand some of our communities are still unsure or have questions they would like answered. We want everyone to be confident in their choice to take up a vaccine, and events like these are crucial for addressing concerns, answering questions and sharing information. I am looking forward to the conversation.”

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for public health and community safety at Southwark Council, said: “We are working closely with the NHS as they deliver the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Southwark, which is our best protection against the virus.

“We know many residents have jumped at the chance of protecting themselves and their loved ones, while others are more cautious especially in light of some highly concerning disinformation circulating about the vaccine on social media and online.

“This free borough-wide webinar is the first in a series of community conversations about the vaccine, where residents can discuss their concerns and get answers to their questions from a panel of leaders from healthcare, the council and faith organisations. We hope this will help residents separate facts from fiction so they feel confident in making an informed choice when the vaccine is offered to them.”

Register now on eventbrite, letstalkvaccine.eventbrite.co.uk

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