BAPS Charities, as part of its ongoing efforts to help fight the deadly impact of the COVID-19 virus, held an informative vaccine webinar on Thursday 15 July 2021 to explain the importance of vaccine uptake among young adults.
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to all adults in the UK aged 18 years and over. Research has confirmed that the UK’s current approved vaccines reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from COVID-19, reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, and protect against COVID-19 variants. The British government has also explained that vaccines are integral to the continued safety of the public, especially amid the unlocking of the country’s final suite of coronavirus restrictions.
The webinar began with a short educational video produced by BAPS Charities to encourage vaccination uptake among young adults. The video features two doctors explaining the benefits of the vaccines and helps dispel some of the common misconceptions about the safety of vaccines.
Another video shared messages from young adults explaining why they perceive the vaccine as important for youths, supporting the learnings from the earlier video. These testimonies underlined the route that vaccines provide to a normal way of life, including attendance at live sports and cultural events.
Dr Bharat Pankhania, Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Exeter and an expert in infectious and communicable diseases, and Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Consultant Epidemiologist at the Immunisation and Countermeasures Division of Public Health England, joined the webinar to explain how vaccines help to protect against illness for the recipients as well as their families and communities. Their factual discussions also alluded to the effectiveness of the vaccination programme and dispelled common myths and misconceptions associated with vaccines, particularly regarding fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The concluding segment of the webinar was delivered through a live Q&A session where the two speakers were joined by Dr Nirav Amin, a lead volunteer for BAPS Charities and leading GP for COVID Hot Clinics in Bromley, Kent. The panel answered many questions, including queries on mixing vaccine doses and accessing vaccines through a local GP or the National Booking Service.
The webinar provided valuable guidance and reassurance to the attendees who joined from the safety of their homes. Snehal Patel, 31, shared, “Thank you for organising this important webinar. It is so reassuring to hear expert answers that address concerns from so many of us young adults. The discussions have given me the tools to tackle hesitancy amongst my peers and play my part in helping the country return to a normal way of life safely.”