Vaccine myth-busting question and answer session takes place next week

Matthew Cole is director of public health for Barking and Dagenham. Picture: LBBD

Barking and Dagenham director of public health Matthew Cole will be on the panel for the public question and answer session. - Credit: Archant

A free, online session with medical professionals aims to help people sort the fact from the fiction about the Covid vaccine.

The one-hour public question and answer event, discussing the vaccine roll-out in Barking and Dagenham will include two borough GPs and its director of public health Matthew Cole.

They will be joined by council leader Councillor Darren Rodwell and cabinet member for health and social integration Councillor Maureen Worby.

The virtual event, which aims to dispel any myths and address any concerns people might have, will take place over Zoom on Thursday, February 18 at 7pm.

Cllr Worby said: “With the roll-out of the different vaccines underway and talk of different variants, people will understandably have lots of questions and concerns.

“We want people to be able to make intelligent, informed choices, so rather than listening to some random person on Facebook, this online chat is the perfect opportunity for residents to get proper, expert medical advice from professionals.”

The panel includes Dr Tina Teotia from Dagenham’s Green Lane Surgery and Barking GP Dr Jagan John, who chairs the borough’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

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So far, 17,667 people have been vaccinated in the borough, the town hall says.

However, Cllr Worby warned against becoming complacent.

“Around one in three people have coronavirus without even knowing they have it and while numbers in our borough are going in the right direction, now is not the time to start taking risks,” she said.

Barking and Dagenham Cllr Maureen Worby

Cllr Maureen Worby has urged people to listen to medical professionals rather than 'some random person on Facebook.' - Credit: Ken Mears

“We have test centres across the borough [that you can visit] whether you have symptoms or not and, in some cases, you can get your results in one hour.

“I urge everyone to make the most of them while we continue to tackle this pandemic.”

The online session is being organised by the council, the borough’s CCG and Together First, the federation representing GP practices in Barking and Dagenham.

People don’t need to register for the session and can join it for free by visiting on the night.

The session will be recorded, so anyone who cannot join the session will be able to watch it.