Thank you for contacting me about eligibility for clinically vulnerable people for the Covid-19 vaccine.
Initially, the vaccine will be offered to people living in a care home for older adults, frontline health care workers, frontline social care workers, and carers working in care homes for older residents. Following this group, the roll-out will target people in specific age groups: over 80s, then over 75s, then over 70s. Next, those who are designated as clinically extremely vulnerable - patients on the shielded list - will be invited. This list may include those who:
- Have had an organ transplant
- Are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
- Are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
- Are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
- Have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
- Have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
- Have been told by a doctor they have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
- Have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
- Are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
- Have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
- Have a problem with their spleen or their spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
- Are an adult with Down's syndrome
- Are an adult who is having dialysis or has severe (stage 5) long-term kidney disease
- Have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of needs
People who are on this list should have already received a letter from the NHS advising them that they are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Across the UK I understand we are on track to deliver on the commitment to offer a first vaccine to everyone in these initial, most vulnerable, groups by the middle of February. These groups have, so far, accounted for 88 per cent of Covid-19 fatalities, so this achievement will be a significant step.
Following that, all adults will be invited for vaccination by the autumn - the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that the priority for the vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems. As such, the remaining roll-out will be ordered based on age and clinical risk factors.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this crucial issue.
Sally-Ann Hart MP