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.
20 Apr 2021
Vaccine access and uptake
This briefing note explores factors influencing the access and uptake of vaccines; the different approaches taken by public health authorities to promote vaccines; and the ethical considerations that arise in this context.
Around this time last year, I packed up my office laptop and cheerily bid farewell to colleagues, assuring them I’d see them “in a few weeks” once lockdown was over. Reader, it was not a few weeks. Over a year to the day, I have yet to return to any office and indeed, having joined the Nuffield Council a couple of months into lockdown, have yet to meet many of my new colleagues in the flesh.
30 Mar 2021
Today we have signed the WHO’s vaccine equity declaration. The declaration calls on all countries to work together in solidarity – and in each of their best interests – to ensure that vaccination of health workers and older people will be underway in all countries within the first 100 days of the year.
15 Feb 2021
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