The COVID and Me series of films have been co-developed with the community for the community to build public awareness and trust in COVID-19 vaccine research. These help support people through their journey of vaccine hesitancy, and make informed choices about COVID-19 vaccination and taking part in vaccine research. The films have just launched on Be Part of Research. 

They focus on communities who are disproportionately affected by coronavirus infection (including Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, older people, those with existing health conditions etc) and help explain the importance of taking part in vaccine trials.

Each drama uses powerful storytelling based on real lived experiences. It is hoped that these will open up conversations about vaccines and vaccine research in our communities.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is now being rolled out across the UK and there are encouraging interim results from AstraZeneca and Moderna, but it is important that clinical trials into a number of other COVID-19 vaccines continue. Different vaccines work in different ways and we still need to collect important information about which vaccines work best, and are best for different groups of people, and on exactly how effective they are at, for example, preventing infection and transmission.

Prof Sue Pavitt is leading COVID and Me, working in collaboration with Theatre of Debate, this community engagement initiative aims to empower people to take part in research and be informed about COVID vaccine research. The goal is to reach all communities.

 “We have listened to the community’s concerns and beliefs to create a poignant set of films that highlight the different challenges, decisions and fears individuals’ face when deciding whether to take part in vaccine research. These are based on people’s experiences so are factual but embellished in order to better convey key messages and rebut misinformation. We have learnt that researchers need to build trust and communicate better the benefits of taking part in vaccine research.”

Prof Sue Pavitt, Executive Producer COVID and Me and NIHR National Speciality Lead

The films were commissioned by the NIHR and produced in partnership with the University of Leeds and the Theatre of Debate. 

They will also be available in Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali shortly, and build on the previous success of COVID and Me which focused on broader COVID-19 research participation.

By Ed

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