The College is launching a new set of public engagement resources to highlight the importance of vaccination. ‘Give it a Shot’ is a set of online resources that focuses on the MMR vaccine and what can happen if not enough people opt in to have the vaccine. A free downloadable activity guide on running a series of hands-on and discussion-based activities with families and school students, is accompanied by a short animation about herd immunity.
Aimed at pathologists, scientists and others who run events about health and science, ‘Give it a Shot’ includes tips on having open conversations with different public audiences about the possible consequences of not vaccinating. The animation accompanies a ‘visualisation’ of herd immunity contained in the activity ideas in the guide, and will also be used independently of the pack, to engage online audiences with key messages.
The release of the new resources coincides with increased focus on the issue of decreasing uptake of childhood vaccination by Government – Public Health England have recently launched their ‘Value of Vaccines’ campaign to facilitate awareness-raising in communities served by its various partners. Recent MP interest in this area has been sparked by an increase in the case of mumps in children in a number of areas of the UK. The UK lost its WHO-status as ‘measles-free’ when measles incidences increased markedly in 2018. This followed a decrease in uptake of the vaccine, particularly of the ‘second dosage’ of MMR.
The free and easy-to-use Give it a Shot resources are ideal for using with primary school pupils for British Science Week and Health Care Science Week in March, and for events taking place during National Pathology Week in November. They offer an engaging way to increase understanding about vaccination with diverse public audiences.
Anyone can download the pack for free. You can also contact the Royal College of Pathologists’ Public Engagement team if you need further information about the resources.