Monday 17 August 2020 7:21 am

UK urges at-risk groups to sign up for coronavirus vaccine trials

The UK today urged elderly people and volunteers from black and Asian minority groups to sign up to a coronavirus vaccine trial registry to boost efforts to find a working vaccine against the disease that offers protection against higher risk groups.

No Covid-19 vaccine candidate has yet been proven effective against the disease, but around 20 are in clinical trials.

Read more: Why we need to talk about who gets access to a coronavirus vaccine

Over 100,000 people have volunteered to take part in vaccine trials, Britain’s business ministry said, but more volunteers are needed to make sure candidate shots work for everyone.

“Protecting those at risk is the only way we will end this pandemic,” said Kate Bingham, chair of the UK Vaccines Taskforce.

“Getting 100,000 volunteers on board is a great start but we need many more people from many different backgrounds that we can call on for future studies if we are to find a vaccine quickly to protect those who need it.”

The government said it was particularly keen for over 65s, frontline health and care workers and people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to sign up.

Read more: UK signs deal for 90m more coronavirus vaccine doses

A study last week showed that minority ethnic groups were two to three times more likely to have had Covid-19 compared to white people in England. Disproportionate numbers of people from minority groups have also died from the disease.