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BAME groups could be first in line for COVID-19 vaccine

Along with people who are over 50 and those who suffer from heart conditions, Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups could be among the first to get the coronavirus vaccine.

According to Health Secretary Matt Hancock, two groups have been recommended for priority vaccinations when one is discovered and manufactured; frontline health and social care workers and those at "increased risk" of death or serious illness from COVID-19 are in line to get the treatment first.

Due to the disproportionate number of deaths within the BAME community to the coronavirus, these groups may also be included among those who receive the first round of vaccines.

With the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation "guided by the clinical science" at hand, those most in need of the vaccine will be prioritised - the government will consider particularly vulnerable groups, which includes people from an ethnic minority background, as a priority for the vaccine.

Image credit: ABC News

Hancock said human trials of a potential vaccine were taking place at Imperial College London. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca (British-Swedish multinational (bio-)pharmaceutical company) has also just struck a deal to manufacture a second possible vaccine being developed by Oxford University.

This news comes after the government confirmed it would end efforts to develop its own coronavirus contact-tracing app to focus on the model built by Apple and Google.

Tech powerhouses Apple and Google have released long-awaited smartphone technology to automatically notify people if they might have been exposed to the coronavirus - the software detects when a user has spent time near another user who later tests positive for the virus.

Still, the response by the UK government to the pandemic has raised numerous concerns on just how seriously the interests of the general public are being taken.

Key concerns include: not starting lockdown sooner which could have potentially saved thousands of lives (of which there are now over 42,000 COVID-related deaths), a lack of PPE supplied to front line workers since the outbreak, making a faff of track and trace, easing lockdown restrictions too early, and a failure to sack advisors who did not take their own advice.

While life gradually returns to 'normality', we must wait for the vaccine and the government's next move.


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