The findings of a recently conducted analysis have shown that people from ethnic and poor backgrounds are at risk of contracting Covid-19.
Different health conditions and circumstances which increases the risk of death were taken into account by the risk analysis tool ordered by Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer for England, from a team at Oxford University.
The new modelling could see nearly 2 million more people in England being advised to shield and 800,000 being prioritised for vaccinations.
Dr Halima Begum, the chief executive of the race equality thinktank the Runnymede Trust called it a watershed moment, said: “Since March we have been pleading with Matt Hancock for race and deprivation to be considered as risk factors, and safeguarding measures to be implemented as a result.
“The new measures are by no means a complete solution. In fact, they’re something of a halfway house. But they are a tremendously important step in the right direction and should be welcomed with open arms.
“By pulling together a trifecta of risk factors – ethnicity, social deprivation and body mass index – we offer a greatly expanded group of vulnerable people far higher levels of protection.”
Analysis has shown that the elderly are at high risk of dying from Covid-19, followed by those with certain cancers and organ transplants. However, a worldly modelling tool revealed 1.7 million people should be added to the current 2.2 million on the shielding list.
People from an ethnic minority background are most likely to succumb to the coronavirus and those from poorer areas are also twice as likely to die from the virus.
The chair of the British Medical Association council, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said: “Many of these patients fall outside of the current JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunisation] priority groups for the Covid vaccine, and so it is now vitally important that these patients are prioritised for vaccination and urgently protected against the deadly effects of Covid-19.”