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Covid-19 Vaccination: Vulnerable Groups

Volume 689: debated on Tuesday 23 February 2021

What estimate he has made of the level of covid-19 vaccination among (a) black and (b) white people in the most vulnerable groups. (912279)

Overall, we are encouraged by the vaccine uptake in the most vulnerable groups, with more than 17.7 million people in the UK having now received their first vaccination. To date, black people, who account for around 3% of the population, make up 1.7% of those vaccinated, while white people, who account for 86% of the population, make up 82% of all those vaccinated in England. We appreciate that there is still work to do, and our vaccine uptake plan addresses that.

Will the Minister speak to Public Health England and ensure that local directors of public health make this information and other information in relation to specific cohorts available at a borough level to local MPs? He will be aware that the danger is that we could be hitting our vaccination targets overall, but certain groups are left behind. Many local MPs want to have some transparency about what is happening locally.

I am grateful for the right hon. Lady’s question. She and I visited the Hatzola first responders, who did an incredible job that Saturday night of vaccinating 364 people from not only the Haredi Hasidic Jewish community but the Muslim community as well. Our uptake plan has four key enablers: working in partnership with local government and directors of public health; removing barriers to access—in other words, access being available at the time and place that people need it; data and information, which we share with directors of public health, and we want to share it in more granular ways; and, of course, engagement, engagement, engagement.