Black and Asian people 'ignored during pandemic' despite high death rates

Covid deaths were two and a half times higher than for black people than their white counterparts in the first half of 2020, according to official figures

Black and Asian people were ignored during the pandemic as they were left off the Covid vaccine priority list despite high death rates, Labour members heard.

Official statistics from the ONS revealed the number of Black people who died from Covid in the first half of 2020 was two and a half times higher than white people.

Yet Government officials and scientists did not include them on the vaccine priority list.

Speaking at the Labour Conference fringe event, Britain Talks, Darren Lewis, Assistant Editor of The Mirror, said: “This country doesn’t listen when Black and Asian people die of Covid.

“We wring our hands and we get upset about it but when vaccine priorities come out and you look down that list you don’t see any Black or brown people eligible for those vaccines, because it wants to say it’s listening but it doesn’t actually listen.”

Ros Wynne Jones hosted the Britain Talks discussion on day four of Labour Conference


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Earlier this year medical groups representing ethnic minority NHS staff had called for ethnic minorities to be prioritised in the Covid vaccine rollout with a letter backed by 33 healthcare organisations.

They had called on the Government to put them in category six out of the nine priority groups for the vaccine.

He claimed culture wars prevent Britain from talking to each other and talking for people “who don’t have the ability to articulate their position themselves.”

Mr Lewis added: “Sometimes the purpose of (culture wars) is to take you away from the things that we can actually change.

“And derail people from changing the things that you can.”

Who were the nine priority groups?

1 – Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers (800,000 people)

2 – Those aged 80 and over and frontline health and social care workers (a total of 7.1 million people in this group: 3.3m over 80s, 2.4m healthcare workers, 1.4m social care workers)

3 – Those aged 75 and over (2.3 million)

4 – Those aged 70 and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (3.2 million)

5 – Those aged 65 and over (2.9 million)

6 – All individuals aged 16 to 64 with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality (7.3 million)

7 – Those aged 60 and over (1.8 million)

8 – Those aged 55 years and over (2.4 million)

9 – Those aged 50 years of age and over (2.8 million)

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