Covid-19 has had a disproportionate impact on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities who may also be more hesitant to have the vaccine. This hesitancy is often caused by lack of information or not being able to access information in the right format. The council is addressing this is by providing trusted and accurate information not only in English, but in 15 other widely spoken languages in the city, from Punjabi to Shona.
The latest translated information includes guides to self testing using rapid Lateral Flow Tests, which many workers, families and school children are now encouraged to do regularly. There are also vaccination guides for health and social care workers, along with information explaining what to expect after your jab.
With every document titled in the relevant language, it’s easy for people to find what they are looking for and the entire website can also be translated into different languages, using the built in ‘Recite -me’ translator tool.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “As a city and as a community we must protect ourselves and each other. The best way of doing this is by following the guidance to stop the spread of Covid-19 and by having the life saving vaccine when it is your turn. The more people who are vaccinated, the fewer people who will become seriously ill from Covid-19 and the quicker we will all return to a more normal way of life.
“Vaccine hesitancy caused by myths and misinformation is understandable, so it is important that everyone has access to the correct information and facts. One of the biggest barriers preventing access to the right information is language.
“We’re regularly adding new material and resources as they become available and working with our network of Wolverhampton Community Champions to identify any gaps and engage our local communities.”
Latest figures show there were 63 new cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 15 March. That means 166 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be higher.