COVID and Me Vaccine Dramas

Short films sharing conversations about vaccine research

Dramas to empower the public and build trust in vaccine research

We need people from every part of the UK population to consider taking part in vaccine research to help protect themselves and their communities and so that we can find a range of vaccines that can work to tackle this global pandemic. 

We have listened to the community's concerns and beliefs and have co-created this collection with them. They embrace people's hesitation around vaccine research, health literacy and the different challenges individuals face when deciding whether to or not to take part.

COVID and Me-Vaccines are based on people's lived experiences so are factual but we use storytelling as a fresh way to convey key messages. We have learnt that researchers need to build trust and communicate better the benefits of taking part in vaccine research.

Who are they for?

The films support all communities, especially those who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 (Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, older people, those with existing health conditions and our poorest communities) understand the importance of taking part in vaccine studies and getting more approved vaccines. 

These communities will be prioritised for vaccines but are reluctant to volunteer for research. Part of this is fuelled by misinformation in their communities making people scared, concerned and doubtful about taking part.

About the collection

This collection builds on COVID and Me and is co-produced with the Theatre of Debate.  

We encourage you to watch these short films and share them with your friends, family, colleagues and communities so we can make a difference together. 

The videos

Varsha featured in our first series, COVID and Me.  She is from a working-class family. Set against the backdrop of misconceptions about participation in vaccine trials. Varsha is coming to terms with her only son deciding to sign up to participate in a vaccine trial. Will she stop him or support him?

Urdu and Bengali versions are now available. 

Written By Sudha Bhuchar
Performed in English By Shaheen Khan     

Asif lost his father from COVID-19 and his brother Saif’s, is recovering from a stay in intensive care. This monologue focuses on the influence that family members have on people’s views of taking part in vaccine trials.  Asif challenges the power of cultural norms of generational hierarchy using a story from the Hadith and not letting ‘faith bow down to fate’. 

Urdu, Bangla and Punjabi versions now available.

Written By Sudha Bhuchar     
Performed In English and Punjabi By Peter Singh

Mandy has diabetes. She is Ollie’s neighbour and, together with her family, has formed a bubble with Ollie. Ollie is encouraging Mandy to face her fears about catching COVID-19. Mandy wants to be able to hug her children without fear of catching COVID. She needs to be brave and consider taking part in a vaccine trial that needs people from all walks of life to take part. 

Written By: Judith Johnson  Performed By:  Bella Hamblin   

Sheila was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago but now in remission. Her keep-fit class instructor has asked the class to consider taking part in a vaccine trial which is being run from the gym hall they usually go to for their keep-fit class.  With all the strong opinions against taking part and all the misinformation circulating Sheila has to decide if she has enough information to ‘let go and leap’. 

Written By: Jonathan Hall      Performed By: Amanda Orton  

Ife is trying to find love during lockdown and social distancing. Having nearly lost her father to COVID in the last COVID and Me series, Ife is trying to convince her date not to believe all of the conspiracy theories rife in the community and to follow her lead and to do his part by signing up to take part in the vaccine trials.

Written By: Farah Najib      Performed By:Adaya Henry

Jide is a male nurse married to Fola in his mid-fifties who is a devout church-goer. This monologue focusses on the lasting friendship between Jide and Pa Olu who is a respected elder in the Nigerian community and the reluctance of the church community to listen to him as a health care professional.

Written By: Oladipo Agboluaje 
Performed By: Tunde Euba 

Background to this project

This collection builds on the inclusive approach of COVID and Me, the first collection of films to raise awareness of the importance of COVID-19 research and the barriers to taking part. 

We are now using the art of storytelling and drama to build awareness and trust in vaccine research. You will see a number of characters from the original COVID and Me series making a return as we chart their progress through the pandemic.  

This is a powerful way to engage communities to start their own debate, overcome fear and help start to break down barriers to vaccine research.