Groups that are marginalised are naturally wary of any large-scale centralised scheme, especially one to do with their health. We have been working to build confidence in the vaccine through case studies and specific information presented by their communities.

What we did

  • Content strategy
  • Website design and build
03 good health and wellbeing S 08 decent work and economic growth S 10 reduced inequalities S 11 sustainable cities and communities S Our impact

The NHS South East London CCG oversees some of the country’s most diverse communities. Unfortunately, trust in the healthcare system does not reach all parts of these communities equally. This has resulted in low take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine in certain parts of the capital – putting individuals and communities at risk.

We designed and built a website to answer the real questions people have about the vaccine, encouraging them to take it up.

The site launched as part of a region-wide marketing push in May 2021.

Since launch, the vaccine hesitancy profile in South East London has changed demonstrating that ethnicity is no longer a defining feature of resistance.

Understanding peoples’ fears about the vaccine

Rather than write off concerns about the vaccine as conspiracy theories, we spent time understanding what was behind these fears. The people we spoke to were parents, grandparents and frontline workers with huge incentives to become inoculated.

They have friends to meet, family to see and jobs to perform, but their genuine concerns about the vaccines are putting them at risk.

However they were all worried about the safety of the vaccine for people like them. Their previous experiences lead them to believe that their safety was unlikely to have been considered when developing the vaccines at such speed.

1 in 5

people in South East London have seen the campaign


minutes of people viewing content since launch

Showing information in a way that engages rather than patronises

To be successful, the campaign had to be based around the communities it was targeting. It’s no good being another official-looking information site talking down to people – there are already plenty of those to go around.

To resonate the site needed to lead with stories of real people from these communities, and the information that led them to overcome their concerns about the vaccine. We integrated the scientific information that people are looking for throughout these stories, to focus on the facts people want without being patronising.

Links and explanations to the scientific information were integrated throughout the user stories

The insight that formed our content strategy

The following is a crucial piece of insight from a healthy 39-year-old mixed race woman, who took part in user research (edited for brevity).

“I have already been offered the vaccination but have turned it down. I would however like to clarify that I am not against vaccination in general. I’ve had all my vaccinations so far and so has my son. Whenever I go on holiday to countries that require certain vaccinations, I do so too.

“I also recognise that Covid-19 can be extremely dangerous for vulnerable groups. I have various people in my close circle outside of the vulnerable groups that contracted Covid-19 and who have been ill. Therefore, I’m not part of the people that doubt that Covid-19 is even real.

“My problem is that people like myself who are trying to do their own research but are against this vaccination are put in the same category as the real anti-vaccination groups. That then makes me feel even more against it because I don’t feel that my concerns are being taken seriously and feel like I’m almost being brushed off as a conspiracy theorist. And many people around me feel the same way.

“The main reasons I am against this vaccination are because of the lack of data on potential long-term side effects and the new vaccine technologies being used. And also because I feel that as someone outside of the vulnerable groups, I don’t feel a need to take a vaccine. I have never had a flu vaccine either and am hardly ever ill because I have a strong immune system. I feel that the risk of me getting seriously ill or dying from Covid-19 is way too small against the risks of the vaccine itself.

“Many Black people currently feel that they are being targeted when it comes to the Covid-19 vaccination. An often-repeated statement is ‘We are always last on the list for everything, let us be last now too’.”