Vulnerable residents to be offered winter supply of Vitamin D
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All care homes will automatically receive a provision for their residents, while individuals on the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable list will receive a letter inviting them to ‘opt in’ for a supply to be delivered directly to their homes.
Deliveries will be free, starting in January, and will provide four months’ worth of supplements.
The Department for Health and Social Care says the vitamins will support bone and muscle health in people who are likely to have spent a lot of time indoors this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The health minister has asked for the existing evidence on Vitamin D and Covid-19 to be re-reviewed, with the findings expected to be published before the end of the year.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in Vitamin D.
“The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free a supply to last them through the darker winter months. This will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS.
“A number of studies indicate Vitamin D might have a positive impact in protecting against COVID-19. I have asked NICE and Public Health England (PHE) to re-review the existing evidence on the link between Covid-19 and Vitamin D to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus.”
The advice from Public Health England is for everybody to take 10 micrograms of Vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep bones and muscles healthy, with those most at risk of not having in enough encouraged to take supplements all year round.
.A range of products and doses are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers.
Residents who can buy supplements are being urged to take Vitamin D now, even if they are also eligible for the free supply starting in January.
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