Walking Through the COVID-19 Vaccine
As part of the University of Edinburgh’s contribution to the 2021 Edinburgh Science Festival, members of the Centre for Inflammation Research’s Public Engagement Committee developed a free, vaccination-themed, self-guided walking tour in central Edinburgh for ages 8 and up.
Nearly 400 people viewed the interactive online tour platform to take part in the walking tour and learn more about COVID-19 vaccines this summer.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues apace, bringing our lives closer to normality, vaccine efficacy and safety is constantly in the news.
CIR's Science Festival Subcommittee developed the self-guided, socially distant activity in response to this topical issue. When asked why they chose to create a vaccine-themed walking tour, Dr Samanta Mariani, Science Festival Subcommittee Lead, replied:
Our aim was for families to have a nice day out, walking around the city while accessing easy-to-understand, ‘bite-size’ information on COVID-19 vaccines. We wanted to dispel any myths that have arisen around COVID-19 vaccination and reassure participants that vaccination is safe and effective.
The walking tour was developed for the 2021 Edinburgh Science Festival, but is still freely available online. Watch the story of the COVID-19 vaccine development unfold by following the treasure trail through the city, pausing to watch animations that reveal the science behind the vaccine. The event covers the science behind how vaccines work, the steps taken by researchers to develop and test them, and the different vaccine types. It also addresses some common questions about safety and usefulness.
The tour requires one smartphone or tablet per group which has enough data to watch a series of short videos and interact with the tour. Captions and sound are provided for multiple access needs. The trail is accessible for wheelchairs/pushchairs and there are public toilets on the route.
It is recommended to allow about 90 minutes for the experience.