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Getting boosted - Inese's story

The COVID-19 Community Champions programme supports residents who may be most at risk of COVID-19.


For phase two of the programme, eight organisations are working with communities to increase vaccination uptake and reduce the impact of the virus.

One of these organisations is Vera Group, a women’s empowerment group based in Walsall. Established over two years ago, the group empower women from different European countries by promoting confidence and self-esteem and offering non-judgmental support and advocacy. Vera Group have also delivered ESOL classes, supporting community members to improve their English skills and feel part of the community they live in.


Throughout the Champions' work, Vera Group have offered face-to-face and online support, communicated information about COVID-19 in different languages and helped community members with booking vaccinations and registering with a GP.


They have also recruited volunteers from across Walsall to get involved, develop their skills and most of all make a difference.

Inese and Konstantins at Saddlers Vaccination Centre after their booster jab.

Walsall for All previously spoke to Inese from the group about her experiences of being a COVID-19 Champion. Recently, Inese and her husband Konstantins had their booster vaccination. She shares her thoughts below, reflecting on her experiences as a champion and the importance of having the booster jab.


We know that in order to keep everyone safe and stop the spreading of the virus, it is very important to follow the advice given by professionals. Being part of the COVID -19 Community Champions, we received regular updates regarding restrictions, the testing process and vaccinations. We know how important it is to follow this guidance.


When communicating with community members and observing social media conversations, there were situations where people observed family members or friends going through COVID-19 with difficult symptoms. This helped them to change their views regarding vaccination in general or motivated them to get the booster jab.


When we first heard about the booster programme, we booked ourselves in order to receive the third dose of the vaccine.


Similar to the first two doses, we received our booster vaccination at the Saddlers Vaccination Centre. The staff were very welcoming and professional; the whole process was very quick and well organised.

Considering that COVID-19 is still here, the booster jab gives us a high level of protection. I think it is very important to have it.


I feel that there are numerous benefits to having the vaccination, as it is giving us the opportunity to continue doing things that we love but at the same time keep everyone safe.


We will continue to follow the guidance from the government and Public Health and will make sure that those who are in our network receive the updated information. We will also share our experience of receiving the booster. Hopefully, this will motivate others to have their booster as well.

 

All those aged 16+ are now eligible for the booster jab, as long as three months have passed since your second dose.


You can book a booster jab using the online National Booking Service or visit one of several walk-in clinics across Walsall, with no appointment necessary, as soon as three months have passed since your second dose.


Alternatively, you can dial 119. Calls to 119 are free from mobiles and landlines. Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm and support is available in 200 languages. If you need help from a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, use the free online 119 BSL interpreter service from SignVideo.

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