|Name of research project|
|Attitudes and Beliefs about COVID-19, research and vaccines|
|What is the project?|
|During the first UK national lockdown in May 2020 the Centre for BME Health launched a survey to explore people’s concerns, attitudes and beliefs from black and minority ethnic communities.
The 20-minute questionnaire asked for information on the participant’s lifestyle and behaviour prior to the pandemic and how their daily habits had changed since COVID-19 arrived in the country.
Questions about the person’s health, their clinical vulnerability, shielding advice, previous flu vaccine uptake, confirmed COVID-19 infections, previous participation in clinical trials and willingness to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial were also asked.
The findings said that more than two in three (69 per cent) people would consider putting themselves forward to take part in research to find a vaccine to slow the spread of the virus.
Among those who said that they would consider taking part in vaccine research, the most powerful motivations included supporting research to deliver faster answers (85 per cent) and helping others in my community (59 per cent). Three quarters of all respondents (76%) identified support to help with transport and childcare as something that would encourage them to volunteer to take part in research.
Building on the findings of the survey, the prolonged COVID-19 restrictions in place across Leicester and the vaccines development, the Centre continued its work. In July 2020 the team conducted qualitative research to explore feelings towards hospital attendance for research, attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccine research and the role of patient and public involvement (PPI) and community involvement in COVID-19 research.
The findings of the qualitative research were used to develop a survey to engage with a wider number of respondents to help explore the barriers of taking part in COVID-19 research and ultimately increase participation.
|What is the aim?|
|All research, in particular at present COVID-19 research, suffers from severe under-representation among ethnic minorities.
However, it is vital, particularly when developing vaccines, that representation from all population groups in clinical trials are included.
The aim of the work was to better understand the opinions of people from all different backgrounds and communities when it comes to medical research.
Factors that motivated participation, including concerns that discouraged participation, information needs, accessibility and suggestions to encourage participation, were explored and were used for the next stage of the project.
Recruitment was urgently needed for COVID-19 vaccine trials and researchers needed people from different ethnic minority communities to sign up.
The results have now been shared in this new report titled ‘Understanding the factors associated with willingness to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial’.
|Who is involved?|
|What are the benefits?|
|Asking and identifying research concerns by communities being directly impacted by COVID-19 means issues can be addressed. The survey findings led to finding better ways to inform members of the public about how vital health research is.
Recruitment and participation is vital in any trial and therefore mistrust or misinformation needs to be addressed in methods that are culturally sensitive to enable work to be representative of the population
|Public perceptions towards vaccine trial research within ethnic minority and vulnerable communities.|