Radio LaB hosts #CovidConversations to boost vaccinations

Tue 21 December, 2021
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The University of Bedfordshire’s award-winning community radio station has launched an initiative in collaboration with Luton Council to help encourage young people in the town to get vaccinated.

Radio LaB’s #CovidConversations campaign – which will air over the next few months – aims to start an open and honest conversation about the Covid-19 vaccinations with young people across Luton, to dispel myths and squash misinformation about the injections.

This project is a collaborative partnership between the University and Luton Council, supported by local design agency, We Can Creative. Since the launch of the UK’s vaccine drive in early 2021, Luton Council has worked with NHS BLMK CCG (NHS Bedfordshire, Luton & Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group) to open numerous walk-in vaccination centres across the town in an attempt to boost the uptake of jabs, particularly in younger people.

Sally Cartwright, Director of Public Health for Luton Council, said: “Having the Covid-19 vaccine and booster is so important in the fight against the virus, and the younger people of Luton can really help us to spread the ‘keeping Luton safe’ message within their networks. If we can teach them the correct facts about the vaccine which they then share with their family and friends, it will hopefully see more people walking through the doors of our vaccination sites.”

Through this campaign, the council hopes students and young people will be provided with the correct facts and statistics in order to make an informed decision about being vaccinated against the virus. Some of the vaccine-related topics covered will include whether it impacts fertility and how the vaccine was developed so quickly.

Terry Lee, a Senior Tutor in Radio & Audio who oversaw this Radio LaB project said: “This is something everyone at Radio LaB is really passionate about. If we can help dispel myths and misinformation about Covid-19 and the vaccines in any way, then this is a hugely worthwhile project for our students to be involved with.”

#CovidConversations will also feature a variety of healthcare experts – including NHS medic Dr Emeka Okorocha – who all hope to enlighten Luton’s younger generation and enable them to make an informed decision about their health. 

Dr Okorocha said: “It’s very important that the younger we are, the more we prioritise our health, more so now than ever. The best way to enjoy Christmas is to make sure you’re safe – get vaccinated and get your booster if you can, and know that you’ve done everything in your power to keep yourself and your family and friends safe.”

Some of the students involved in the campaign also spoke about why they wanted to be a part of it, with first-year Media Performance student, Madison Smith, commenting: “The sooner everyone gets their vaccine, the
quicker we are able to come closer to our old reality and protect our loved ones.”

Third-year Radio & Audio student, Nathan Randle, said: “The pandemic has affected so much of my time at University, so I believe it’s very important to get the vaccine. Being involved in this project also allows me to give something back to the community and help to make a difference.”

Sally Cartwright from Luton Council added: “Working with the University of Bedfordshire’s students and Radio LaB has been a very positive experience. We are very thankful to everyone involved in the #CovidConversations project for their enthusiasm and genuine willingness to help encourage take-up of the vaccine.”

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