The app, branded VacciNATION, has been part-funded by Welsh Government as part of the Covid 19 Rapid Response Fund to combat the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic. It features content in the most widely spoken minority languages in the UK.
Starfish Labs’ Manjit Jhooty, says,
“Covid-19 has disproportionately affected Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in the UK. Data has shown that members of minority ethnic groups are more hesitant than others to have the COVID-19 vaccine for a variety of reasons including a perceived risk of harm from the vaccine and a lack of confidence in it.”
“We hope that by featuring a wide range of medical and healthcare professionals in this app, presenting the facts in some of the most widely spoken minority languages in the UK, we can go some way to encouraging those communities to protect individuals, their families and the wider public as we move out of lockdown.”
The app features videos of healthcare professionals including a Practice Nurse, GPs, Pharmacists, Surgeons and Consultants talking about why they have had the vaccine and why it’s important to consider being vaccinated, in Welsh, Polish, Arabic, Mandarin, Bengali, Punjabi, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada and Urdu, as well as English, along with written myth-busting information in those languages.
The content was researched and collated by Dr Ross Wilkinson, GP and Public Health Champion and contains links to relevant scientific evidence and the latest Covid-19 information from all of the devolved governments of the UK. It is hoped that the app will also be available on the App Store and Google Play soon after the launch of the website at www.covidvaccinationinfo.co.uk.
Starfish Labs Director, Neil Bevan, says,
“As the Covid-19 pandemic is still very much with us, we are grateful to Welsh Government for supporting Starfish Labs in funding the development of the app, and we’re proud to be developing the content in a wide range of languages to support people throughout the UK. We hope that the younger generation might show the content to relatives who may not be as familiar with technology, and be more hesitant about getting the vaccination, and by presenting it in their first language, by respected professionals, they might be more open to considering vaccination.”