Leading British doctors on Tuesday called for the prioritisation of minority ethnic groups for COVID-19 vaccines, as they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“We are concerned that recent reports show that people within BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities are not only more likely to be adversely affected by the virus but also less likely to accept the COVID vaccine, when offered it,’’ Martin Marshall, head of the Royal College of General Practitioners, told the Guardian newspaper.
Marshall urged the Health Ministry to include ethnicity as a factor in vaccine prioritisation and said general practitioners could use discretion to tailor doses to the needs of their local communities.
Marshall and other medical experts also called for a health communications campaign tailored to minority communities.
“We need to be clear to our communities that there is no meat or meat products in the vaccine.
“There is no pork, there is no alcohol and it has been endorsed by religious leaders and religious councils,’’ said Habib Naqvi, director of the National Health Service’s Race and Health Observatory.
Studies have shown that ethnic minority groups are almost twice more likely to die from COVID-19 than the rest of the population.
According to the British statistics authority, the mortality rate of black African or Bangladeshi males aged 9 to 64 was five times higher than among white males of that age group during the first pandemic wave.(dpa/NAN)