United and safe: the Polish community and vaccination

Published: Friday, 19th February 2021

Today, the Oxford Polish Association (OPA) is holding a live event for Polish nationals living in the UK who are trying to find out more about the ongoing vaccination programme.

This is being held in partnership with Oxford City Council.

Between 7pm and 9pm - on Friday 19 February 2021 - people will be able to ask questions about the importance of being immunised against COVID-19.

The interactive session will be introduced by Councillor Louise Upton. This will be an opportunity for participants to raise and share concerns about how, why and where they are inoculated. It will also allow for dialogue and discussion around the unique circumstances of Polish people living in Oxford during the pandemic. She will be joined by notable academics, medical and communications specialists who have worked on the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The city council will be hosting the meeting via Zoom, which will allow OPA to invite a much larger number of attendees. The partnership between the two organisations means that Polish people from around the UK will be able to join and share their hopes and fears for what is an astonishing and unprecedented endeavour. Polish-speaking experts will be available throughout.

This collaboration is especially pertinent because of Oxford’s twinning status with Wrocław in Poland. The two cities have been linked since October 2018.

In 2019, a gnome named Życzliwek, or ‘well-wisher’ travelled form Wroclaw and made his home under the dreaming spires.

Życzliwek now lives in Oxford’s Covered Market, where he welcomes residents and offers well-wishes to Oxfordshire residents and visitors from around the world.  He isn’t gnome alone.

“We have a terrific relationship with Wroclaw. The friendship between our twin cities is one of mutual respect, and a shared enjoyment of life. In these times, it is really important to stand together and unite against this terrible virus. OPA has done an incredible job in pulling this together. I am enormously proud of everyone involved in arranging this. It is an exercise in bringing people together to talk about their concerns. I’m really pleased that our ICT department has been able to provide a platform for discussion in these difficult times.”

Councillor Louise Upton, cabinet member for a safer, healthy Oxford