Yesterday, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee wrote to the Prime Minister setting out five recommendations that the Government should undertake to reduce the likelihood of a resurgence of COVID-19 over winter.
The Committee has been taking evidence on the current pandemic as part of their ‘Science of COVID-19’ inquiry. Our Director, Hugh Whittall, gave evidence on contact tracing and data ethics to the Committee earlier this month.
We welcome the Committee’s recommendations. The letter echoes many of our own calls to Government during the pandemic, such as the need for fuller explanations to the public of uncertainty in the evolving scientific evidence, greater transparency in how scientific advice is used in policy making, and greater clarity on who is responsible for implementing policies. We highlighted this in a joint letter with Involve to the Prime Minister in April. We agree with the Committee that this is essential for improving public trust in the Government’s response to the pandemic.
We look forward to seeing the recommendations of the Committee swiftly implemented.
The prospect of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 is good news for everyone towards the end of a grim year. Of course, caution is still advisable with as yet no certainty as to how long the vaccine might work or whether there might be adverse side effects for certain groups. There are also a host of ethical issues that need to be addressed.
24 Nov 2020
- Spotlight briefing: Ten questions on the next phase of the UK’s COVID-19 response
- Rapid policy briefing: COVID-19 antibody testing and ‘immunity certification’
- Rapid policy briefing: Fair and equitable access to COVID-19 treatments and vaccines
- Rapid policy briefing: Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic - ethical considerations
- Guide to the ethics of surveillance and quarantine for novel coronavirus
Ongoing series of activities
Access our resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just at the point where vaccine trials are showing promise, levels of infection circulating in the general population in the UK are relatively low. This is obviously good news from many perspectives – but makes the next stage of testing more difficult. Is one possible answer human challenge trials?
24 Jul 2020