Jews urged to take part in Covid vaccine trials
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Jews urged to take part in Covid vaccine trials

Concern at under-representation of ethnic minorities among 270,000 people taking part in testing for the Vaccine Taskforce

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

A volunteer participates in a clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate (Photo: PA/Business Wire)
A volunteer participates in a clinical trial for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate (Photo: PA/Business Wire)

Jewish people are being asked to take part in coronavirus vaccine trials.

Around 270,000 volunteers are currently taking part in testing for the UK Vaccine Taskforce but those from ethnic minority groups, including the Jewish community, are under-represented – along with those with chronic diseases and the over 65s.

The large vaccine study needs a diverse group of volunteers to check if the jabs will work for all populations. But only seven percent of those recruited are people belonging to an ethnic minority, who are at a higher risk of complications if they develop coronavirus.

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, who is herself volunteering for Covid-19 vaccine trials at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital, said: “The UK is leading the world in the search for a Covid-19 vaccine. At home, we have to ensure every community trusts a future vaccine to be sage and that it works across the entire population.

“Together, we can be part of the national effort to end this pandemic for good.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said in a statement that “Coronavirus affects anyone regardless of their background, age or race. To ensure we can find a safe and effective vaccine that works for everyone, we all need to get involved.”

The NHS Vaccine Registry was launched in July to create a database of people who can be contacted by the NHS to take part in clinical studies.

“The only way to check how well a coronavirus vaccine works is to carry out large-scale clinical trials involving thousands of people”, said Kate Bingham, chair of the government’s Vaccine Taskforce.

“Researchers need data from different communities and different people to improve understanding of the vaccines. The only way to get this is through large clinical trials.”

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