More vulnerable people to be added to shielding list

There is to be a large expansion of the number of people being asked to shield in England, the government has announced.

An extra 1.7 million people are expected to be added to the 2.3 million already on the list.

For some it will also mean they are now prioritised for vaccination.

The move comes after a new model was developed that takes into extra factors rather than just someone’s health condition as the original list does.

This calculation includes things like ethnicity, deprivation and weight to work out a person’s risk of becoming seriously ill if they were to catch Covid.

Of the 1.7 million, around 900,000 have already received an offer of a vaccination because they were over 70.

The remainder are all thought to fall into one of the priority groups that are being invited for vaccination next. They will be bumped up the list first for a jab, the government said.

Shielding was re-introduced in tier four areas from mid December, before being expanded nationally once the third lockdown was announced in early January.

Unlike in the first lockdown, people who are shielding are being advised they can leave their homes for exercise.

Deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries said: “This action ensures those most vulnerable to Covid can benefit from both the protection that vaccines provide and from enhanced advice and support should they choose it.”

For more information on shielding visit the government website:

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