LSTM - what's your story exhibition. I did it for my unborn baby (had her covid vaccination)

Blog: What’s your story? Liverpool’s Vaccine Equity Project Exhibition

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet has today approved the second phase of Liverpool’s Vaccine Equity Project. Amina Ismail, a Community Mobiliser at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) was actively involved in the first phase. She reflects on her experiences of the last 12 months and the importance of developing local solutions to improve vaccine uptake. 

“Three years on and Covid continues to highlight health inequalities and that reaching the unvaccinated remains a challenge both locally and nationally.

What does the data tell us? That people living in the most deprived areas of Liverpool are more likely to not be fully vaccinated or vaccinated at all.

The difference in vaccine uptake between the most and least deprived wards in Liverpool was 40% – which is why the council commissioned LSTM to develop and pilot a new community led approach to tackling Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy.

The Liverpool Vaccine Equity Project worked with three Community Innovation Teams (CITs) – made up of community champions, primary care settings, public health providers and other key stakeholders.

Through collaboration, data and local knowledge and insights – the project developed local solutions to tackle a recurring question – How do we counteract institutional mistrust and Covid misinformation?

With the support of community champions, the CIT teams conducted surveys and found that people did want to talk and share their Covid experiences and personal journeys – including their reasons for getting vaccinated.

The advantage of working with a multidisciplinary team to define a clear approach of how to engage with communities is that they clearly understood what the community needed.

This insight evolved into the ‘What’s your Story’ photo exhibition – where local photographer Jane MacNeil shot powerful images of local people, alongside a single caption, which stated their personal reason for getting vaccinated.  

Rahima Farrah and Kerry Nugent from LSTM

The photo exhibition has been on a bit of a mini tour around the city, including The Florrie, Everton’s People’s Hub and Blackburne House – with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals being a more permanent home for the next year too!

The exhibition has helped engage people and start conversations around Covid and vaccination.

It has also acted as a powerful message of collective responsibility – something we saw first-hand throughout Covid, when people came together and cared about what was happening in their community – something that is often hailed as one of Liverpool’s strengths. “

For more details on how you can get vaccinated visit the NHS website.

You can also watch a video of the exhibition on YouTube.

Liverpool Waterfront