Responding to the approval of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, Dr Habib Naqvi MBE, Director of the NHS Race and Health Observatory, which is hosted by the NHS Confederation, said:
“The approval of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca coronavirus vaccine is another huge step towards the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. NHS England’s new instruction to trust leaders: to prioritise the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers, and especially those identified at highest risk of serious illness from Covid-19, is also welcome news.
“The evidence is clear that people from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities are more likely to get infected and die from Covid-19. Evidence also indicates that BME communities are almost three times more likely to reject a Covid-19 vaccine. It is therefore critical that NHS leaders make every effort to prioritise staff who are most vulnerable. Support needs to be tailored so that all staff can make evidence-based and informed decisions, reducing potential inequalities in vaccine uptake.”