The newly elected BAME committee of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) held its first network event and discussed how pharmacists could work together within their respective communities to overcome vaccine hesitancy and raise the number of Covid-19 vaccine uptake.
The black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) pharmacists’ network was launched by the PDA in 2020 as part of its efforts to meet the demands of their growing membership and improve their work on equality.
“The event continues the PDA’s work on the #GetVaccinated campaign where pharmacists are leading conversations within their profession and community to encourage patients to take the Covid-19 vaccine when they can,” the association said in an update.
Delivering her speech at the event, Natasha Callender, chief pharmaceutical officer’s clinical fellow, NHS England and NHSE Improvement, highlighted the urgent need to continue promotion of the vaccine uptake in BAME communities, whilst delivering targeted health promotion messaging to tackle health disparities and managing long-term conditions prevalent in those communities.
Sherifat Muhammad Kamal, another speaker at event who also serves as the vice president of the PDA BAME network and a locum pharmacist, spoke about the importance of information being accessible and available to BAME communities and how pharmacists were best placed to have conversations as local trusted health practitioners.
Kamal also shared her experience of using a variety of media platforms to promote vaccinations including patient information leaflets.
Alima Batchelor, head of policy at the PDA and a senior pharmacist in a vaccination centre in the Midlands, shared her first-hand experience of the practice within the vaccine centre, including answering patient queries, training staff, administering the vaccine, managing vaccine supply and writing reports for the NHS.