Ethnic and religious minorities have been disproportionately affected by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and are less likely to accept coronavirus vaccinations. Orthodox (Haredi) Jewish neighbourhoods in England experienced high incidences of SARS-CoV-2 in 2020-21 and measles outbreaks (2018-19) due to suboptimal childhood vaccination coverage. The objective of our study was to explore how the coronavirus vaccination programme (CVP) was co-delivered between public health services and an Orthodox Jewish health organisation. Methods included 28 semi-structured interviews conducted virtually with public health professionals, community welfare and religious representatives, and household members. We examined CVP delivery from the perspectives of those involved in organising services and vaccine beneficiaries. Interview data was contextualised within debates of the CVP in Orthodox (Haredi) Jewish print and social media. Thematic analysis generated five considerations: i) Prior immunisation-related collaboration with public health services carved a role for Jewish health organisations to host and promote coronavirus vaccination sessions, distribute appointments, and administer vaccines ii) Public health services maintained responsibility for training, logistics, and maintaining vaccination records; iii) The localised approach to service delivery promoted vaccination in a minority with historically suboptimal levels of coverage; iv) Co-delivery promoted trust in the CVP, though a minority of participants maintained concerns around safety; v) Provision of CVP information and stakeholders response to situated (context-specific) challenges and concerns. Drawing on this example of CVP co-delivery, we propose that a localised approach to delivering immunisation programmes could address service provision gaps in ways that involve trusted community organisations. Localisation of vaccination services can include communication or implementation strategies, but both approaches involve consideration of investment, engagement and coordination, which are not cost-neutral. Localising vaccination services in collaboration with welfare groups raises opportunities for the on-going CVP and other immunisation programmes, and constitutes an opportunity for ethnic and religious minorities to collaborate in safeguarding community health.
- Religious Minorities