FALSE: DO NOT SHARE
The UK Government will be targeting BAME people for COVID-19 vaccination.
Misleading. The UK Government has said it will protect at-risk people first, should a vaccine become available.
A WhatsApp message claims that the UK Government will be targeting BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities for vaccination, once a COVID-19 vaccination has been approved for use by the public. The message also raises concerns about side-effects and whether you can opt out of vaccination.
This is misleading, the Government has said ethnic minorities could be among several categories of at-risk people, such as frontline NHS staff and patients, who should be protected first if a vaccine becomes available. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As we learn more about the virus, we’ll continue to take into account which groups may be particularly vulnerable – including, for example, those from ethnic minority backgrounds, so we can protect the most at-risk first, should a vaccine become available.”
There is some evidence that some groups are particularly susceptible to COVID-19, a Public Health England paper found BAME people were up to 50% more likely to die after contracting COVID-19. According to the NHS, vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases.
Scientific research is being conducted around the world to develop and test a vaccine to prevent people infected by the coronavirus [Sar-CoV-2] developing the COVID-19 illness. No vaccine has yet been approved for general use although several are going through clinical trial stages. The UK Government has signed agreements with pharmaceutical companies so that millions of people could be vaccinated against coronavirus once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for general use. The vaccine trials in Oxford have so far shown no dangerous side effects, with some patients developing a mild fever or headache.
NHS: Coronavirus vaccine research
Reuters: Fact check – The British government is not targeting BAME communities for coronavirus vaccine trials
GOV.UK: Millions could be vaccinated against COVID-19 as UK secures strong portfolio of promising vaccines
BBC News: Coronavirus – Oxford vaccine triggers immune response
GOV.UK: Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation: interim advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination