First News - - SCIENCE NEWS -

THE NHS has launched an ap­peal for adult vol­un­teers to join its COVID-19 vac­cine tri­als.

In par­tic­u­lar, they want Bri­tish Asians to sign up as, so far, only 3% of those who have vol­un­teered are from an Asian back­ground. More than 112,000 peo­ple have come for­ward in just four weeks, of whom 94% are white.

The UK Gov­ern­ment has now bought a to­tal of 340 mil­lion doses of six po­ten­tial vac­cines for the new coro­n­avirus. They have done this in the hope that at least one of the vac­cines that are cur­rently be­ing tested will work. As this virus is brand-new, and there is no vac­cine for any pre­vi­ous coro­n­avirus, there is no guar­an­tee that there will be an ef­fec­tive jab. But the only way to find out is through tri­als – and that’s where vol­un­teers come in.

Eng­land’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer, Pro­fes­sor Chris Whitty, said: “The more peo­ple who vol­un­teer to take part, the more likely we find an an­swer to whether any vac­cine is ef­fec­tive.”

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