Covid in the UK: Ethnic minorities take vaccines less often, a report said – World News

Ethnic minority or lower-income people are less likely to take the coronavirus vaccine launched in the UK. Investigations on Wednesday expressed concerns as to whether the sting would reach communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

A survey by the UK’s Royal Society for Public Health found that three quarters of respondents would take a Covid-19 vaccine if told to do so by a doctor. However, among blacks and members of Asian and ethnic minorities, that number dropped to 57% backgrounds.

The panel also said the survey “revealed significantly more reluctance among lower-income groups” – 70% of low earners are likely to agree, compared with 84% of high earners.

Public health experts and doctors say the results are worrying but not surprising. They are consistent with consistently lower uptake rates of other vaccines, such as measles and flu shots, among ethnic minorities and in poorer areas.

This reluctance – a result of factors such as news getting out of the community and suspicion of authority based on previous experience – was compounded by misinformation and vaccination campaigns on social media.

“We have known for years that different communities in the National Health Service have different levels of satisfaction,” said Christina Marriott, executive director of the Royal Society for Public Health. “More recently, we have seen anti-vaccination messages specifically targeting different groups, including different ethnic or religious communities.”

On December 8, the UK became the first country in the world to introduce the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, which has an efficacy rate of around 95%. The government is initially targeting people over 80 and nursing home workers. Approximately 138,000 people have received the first of two required shocks to date.

Studies in the UK and elsewhere have shown that blacks and ethnic minorities are at higher risk of developing and dying from Covid-19 due to genetic diseases such as diabetes, as well as socio-economic circumstances such as living conditions and work. A report by Public Health England also found that structural racism and poor public health care experiences made it less likely for some groups to seek care when needed.

Officials have not said they would give priority to black or ethnic minorities during the coronavirus vaccine rollout. Dr. Salman Waqar, secretary general of the British Islamic Medical Association, said it was up to individual health authorities to decide first whether or not to vaccinate blacks or minority health professionals.

“Efforts should be made to make sure these communities are vaccinated,” he said. “(Officials) have left the vendors to make the decision on the ground, but it does not seem to show strong leadership from the authorities when they have left it open for interpretation.”

Dr. Kiran Rahim, a pediatrician in a poorer area of ​​London with a high rate of vaccination refusals, said health officials need to do a lot more to reach marginalized and minority communities.

She said that in the case of the children’s nasal flu vaccine – which many Muslims oppose because it contains pig gelatin – once authorities made an alternative option available, uptake was significantly improved.

“Many of us have campaigned for a vegetarian version to be available for many years. We encountered constant opposition,” she said. “When it comes to public health and a mass vaccination campaign is going on, all parties have to be dealt with.”