ALREADY around 140,000 people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot have been given the vaccination in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
On top of that people supporting the Welsh Government restrictions by following the rules have helped see infection rates tumble over the last few weeks.
But the leaders of the local councils say everyone should keep playing their part by continuing to follow the rules and helping spread the word about the vaccine to help dispel fear and mistrust of it.
Edward Latham, Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, said:
“Along with the Health Board and Swansea Council, we’re supporting the ‘Tell me more’ campaign that’s aiming to dispel myths and distrust among Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities about the virus.
“The campaign is doing all it can to encourage people to take up the vaccine by signposting to honest and accurate information about the vaccines on offer so that they can truly make informed choices.
“Many thousands of people have already had their first dose of the vaccine and others have had their second dose too. The NHS and GPs in our communities have done an amazing job in ensuring the process is easy and as hassle-free as possible.
“We can understand that some people may feel discouraged from having the vaccine, perhaps because of false information circulating on social media.
“The ambition of the Tell Me More campaign is to address these concerns head-on and provide people with the information they need to feel confident that the vaccines are safe, contain ingredients that are in keeping with their religious and personal beliefs and will help protect them and those they care about.”
Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, added:
“We’re nearing the first anniversary of the declaration of the pandemic. As communities, we have come together like never before to support one another through what has been a traumatic time for many.
“We’ve seen people looking out for their neighbours and strangers volunteering in their thousands to support the vulnerable. As communities, we can work together again to spread honest and accurate information about the vaccine so that people can make informed choices about what to do.
“Tens of thousands of people have had the vaccine and many more will be invited to have theirs in the coming weeks in line with Welsh Government plans. Let’s spread the word about the facts and have the jab when it’s our turn.”
A recent Public Health Wales study found that: “the largest inequality in coverage was seen between ethnic groups in adults aged 80+ years. Coverage for the combined Black, Asian, Mixed and Other ethnic groups in this age-group was 71.5% compared to 85.6% in the White ethnic group, a gap of 14.1%.” This gap started to reduce as younger age groups were compared but remained significant.
Tell Me More campaign is being driven by the BAME Coronavirus Vaccine Forum and has the support of local faith leaders, BME Community Associations, Swansea Council, Neath Port Talbot Council, Swansea Bay University Health Board and other local agencies.