Saffron Walden MP Kemi Badenoch signs up to vaccine trials to encourage more BAME volunteers

Kemi Badenoch is taking part in the trials.
Kemi Badenoch is taking part in the trials. Credit: Kemi Badenoch/Twitter

The MP for Saffron Walden is taking part in coronavirus vaccine trials to encourage more ethnic minority volunteers to come forward.

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch had her first jab in October as part of a trial for US biotechnology firm Novavax.

According to Public Health England, black people are more likely to catch Covid - but less than 10% of vaccine volunteers come from non-white backgrounds.

As a result, thousands more people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are needed for trials and Ms Badenoch said she decided to sign up to help ensure "every community trusts a future vaccine to be safe".

354,000 people have signed up to the NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Research Registry across the UK. Credit: PA

"With less than half a per cent of people on the NHS Vaccine Registry from a black background, we have a lot more work to do," she said.

A National Institute for Health Research spokesperson added: "We are still looking for more volunteers, particularly people from BAME backgrounds, so that the vaccines, and other studies on Covid can help protect the whole population, particularly those most at risk of serious disease.

"7.6% of the registry's volunteers come from a non-white background. This is important to help make sure vaccines and other treatments are effective for and supported by the whole community."

Research from the The Office for National Statistics suggests people of black ethnicity nearly two times as likely to die from a coronavirus-related death than those of white ethnicity.