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EntornoInteligente | UK minority groups fall behind in receiving Covid-19 vaccinations

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A study indicated Black, Asian and other minorities in Britain worry more than whites about vaccine reliability as BAME groups try to take frontline roles to dispel misinformation about the shots in their communities. Britain‘s Prince Charles (R), Prince of Wales and Chief pharmacist Inderjit Singh (C) watch a vaccination taking place during a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, northern England on February 17, 2021. (AFP) Only 55 percent of Black people in England in their 70s had been vaccinated against Covid-19 by last week compared to 86 percent of white people of that age, a study has shown, as celebrities and officials encourage minority groups to accept the shot

A study indicated Black, Asian and other minorities in Britain worry more than whites about vaccine reliability as BAME groups try to take frontline roles to dispel misinformation about the shots in their communities. Britain‘s Prince Charles (R), Prince of Wales and Chief pharmacist Inderjit Singh (C) watch a vaccination taking place during a visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, northern England on February 17, 2021. (AFP) Only 55 percent of Black people in England in their 70s had been vaccinated against Covid-19 by last week compared to 86 percent of white people of that age, a study has shown, as celebrities and officials encourage minority groups to accept the shot.

Britain has outpaced most other countries by giving at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine to more than a quarter of its population. However, people from Black and South Asian backgrounds, who have suffered a disproportionate number of deaths, have been more reluctant to be vaccinated.

Among those from South Asian backgrounds, 73 percent of people aged 70-79 had been vaccinated by February 11, according to a study by OpenSafely, run by the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of the National Health Service in England, on Monday said this hesitancy was a “real concern” and that a huge effort was being made to overcome it.

Television comedy writer Adil Ray coordinated the creation of a video of celebrities with minority backgrounds encouraging people to take the vaccine, which was due to air on television on Thursday.

He said that public debate in Britain about the impact of coronavirus restrictions on Christmas celebrations, pubs and “scotch eggs”, which are wrapped in sausage meat, had no bearing on the cultural life of many Asian people who may not celebrate Christmas, drink alcohol or eat pork.

“All those things matter, and those are things that we have to do better at,” he told the BBC.

The government is banking on its huge vaccination programme as the escape route from a series of national lockdowns and their crippling economic impact. By Wednesday, almost 16 million people had received a first dose.

READ MORE: Black Americans face highest Covid deaths and now lowest vaccine rates

Opposition calls for monetary support

Britain's Labour Party leader Keir Starmer on Thursday proposed the launch of a 'recovery bond' to finance post-pandemic government spending that supports communities, jobs and businesses.

Starmer made the announcement in a speech setting out his vision for a Britain with greater state intervention to help the country rebound from the damage caused by Covid-19.

“If I were Prime Minister, I would introduce a new British Recovery Bond. This could raise billions to invest in local communities, jobs and businesses,” Starmer said in a speech.

“It could help build the infrastructure of the future – investing in science, skills, technology and British manufacturing. It would also provide security for savers.”

Labour said the bonds would be a way to tap into the country's estimated 250 billion pounds of household savings, and that the money should be allocated directly to the National Infrastructure Bank.

It said interest rates on the bonds should be set at similar levels to the rest of the market, and that their main draw to savers would be the opportunity to buy into the recovery.

Bonds should be long-term, but give savers flexibility to withdraw their money earlier, the party said. 

READ MORE: What’s behind the slow Covid-19 vaccine rollout?

Source: Reuters

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