Coronavirus latest news: Britain faces pressure to follow President Biden and waive patent on vaccines

ONS figures revealed those from a Black Caribbean background were five times more likely not to have received a first dose of the vaccine than their White British counterparts.

The lowest vaccination rates were among people identifying as Black Caribbean and Black African (66.8% and 71.2% respectively), followed by people from Pakistani (78.4%) backgrounds, while the highest was for the White British group (93.7%).

Caroline Lucas MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG on Coronavirus, saidd: “This is more evidence of the persistence of vaccine hesitancy among some ethnic minority and disadvantaged communities.   

“The work that’s been done with some minority groups, engaging with the local community, building trust and working with places like mosques and temples shows it is possible to overcome deep-seated mistrust and improve vaccine take-up.  But it needs to be done at grassroots level, not imposed from Whitehall. 

“The pandemic has already exposed deep inequalities in our society. Dividing people into the vaccinated and unvaccinated through schemes like vaccine passports risks making this worse and alienating the communities where vaccine take-up is already low, particularly if they are used to restrict access to everyday services. That must not be allowed to happen.”