England: free vitamin D supply over winter for the clinically vulnerable

11 January 2021

Care home residents and people on the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ list (2.7 million people in total) are being offered free vitamin D supplements over winter by the government.

Those on the vulnerable list will get a letter inviting them to opt in to receive the free delivery starting in January, which will last for four months. Care homes will automatically receive the supply.

The offered free supply of the vitamin is to support general health, especially bone and muscle health, and to reduce pressure on the NHS.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England (PHE), said: ‘This year, the advice is more important than ever with more people spending more time inside, which is why the government will be helping the clinically extremely vulnerable to get vitamin D.’

PHE advises people at greater risk of not having enough vitamin D to take a supplement all year round, and for everyone else to take 10 micrograms (400 IU) daily between October and early March.

Evidence of the link of vitamin D to Covid-19 is still being researched. But secretary of state for health and social care Matt Hancock has asked NICE and PHE to re-review current evidence ‘to ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus’.

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