The vaccine is widely seen as the quickest way out of the pandemic which has gripped the globe for the last 12 months – and so it's crucial that people get their jabs as soon as they invited to do so.
The council is one of 60 local authorities and community groups across England to receive a share of £23.75m funding from the Government to expand Covid-19 communications with at-risk groups.
It will enable organisations to deliver a range of measures to protect those most at risk – building trust, communicating accurate health information and ultimately helping to save lives. This will include developing new networks of trusted local champions where they don’t already exist.
It will particularly target older people, disabled people, and people from ethnic minority backgrounds who are more likely to suffer long-term impacts and poor outcomes from Covid-19.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "It is vital that everyone – and particularly those in higher-risk groups – are able to access the advice and information they need about Covid-19 and the lifesaving vaccine.
"And it's just as important that the information they get is accurate, because false information could cost lives.
"We're working really hard with our partners in the NHS to get messages about Covid-19 and the vaccine out to residents in a variety of ways, including through traditional and social media, our dedicated webpages at Covid-19 Vaccine and through direct contact with individuals.
"This funding, totalling £474,000, will enable us to use and expand our group of Community Champions so that they can act as advocates and provide tailored support through their local networks. They will help us overcome any barriers which currently exist – for instance, by making phone calls to older people and others who may be digitally excluded or by sharing information in community languages."
She added: "We want all communities to take up the offer of a free vaccine and the Community Champions will help people get the advice and information they need."
The council has already recruited a number of Community Champions through the city's Learning Communities partnership and Homelessness Task Force and aims to sign up an expansive network of champion organisations or individuals by the end of March.
Individuals or organisations interested in joining the network should please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: "This funding will help councils and community groups expand some of the excellent work already underway and reach out to their communities to ensure they have the information they need and get their questions answered. Ultimately this funding will help save lives.”
Those most at risk are being offered the vaccination first, and it will be rolled out to other groups in order of age and risk over the coming weeks and months. For details of the priority list, visit GOV.UK. The NHS will contact people when it is their turn to book their vaccine, people should not contact their GP or pharmacy.
The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages. Further details of the lockdown restrictions currently in place, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert.