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Press release

The King's Fund responds to the latest ONS publication on Covid-19 deaths by ethnicity

Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication on Covid-19 deaths by ethnicity, Veena Raleigh, Senior Fellow at The King’s Fund, said:

‘Although the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on some ethnic minority groups, particularly Black groups, narrowed in the second wave ending in March 2021 compared to the first wave in Spring 2020, its devastating impact on many ethnic minority communities persists. In particular, people from Pakistani and Bangladeshi groups – who are more likely to live in higher-density, multi-generational households where infection can spread more readily – were disproportionately affected in the second wave.

‘There is a risk that lower vaccine uptake among ethnic minority communities could perpetuate these inequalities. To address this, it is vital that vaccine uptake measures are strengthened, including through engagement with local communities and by increasing the availability of services near peoples’ homes and workplaces.

‘The pandemic has had a grossly disproportionate impact on poorer communities and ethnic minority groups. Many forms of inequality have widened during the pandemic, so reducing inequalities should be at the heart of the government’s post-Covid-19 recovery plans.’

Notes to editors

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The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.