Health Secretary Matt Hancock has sent out an official letter to the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and agreed that homeless people and rough sleepers should be prioritised for the vaccination programme.
He believes that homeless people’s undiagnosed conditions and less regular access to healthcare put them at greater risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19.
Hancock has also agreed to the suggestion of vaccinating prison officers early should there were any doses left in jails.
“We know there are heightened risks for those who sleep rough and today I have accepted the advice of the independent experts at the JCVI to prioritise those experiencing rough sleeping or homelessness for vaccination alongside priority group 6,” Hancock said on Thursday.
“This advice will help us to protect more people who are at greater risk, ensuring that fewer people become seriously ill or die from the virus,” said Professor Wei Shen Lim, the chair of the JCVI’s Covid-19 programme.