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Vitamin D for shielders

02 December 2020

More than two and a half million vulnerable people across England will be offered free Vitamin D supplements for the winter, the government has announced.

All care homes will automatically receive 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 of charge, starting in January, and will provide four months’ worth of supplements to last people through the winter months.  

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: “A number of studies indicate Vitamin D might have a positive impact in protecting against COVID-19. I have asked NICE and 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 (400 IU) of Vitamin D a day between October and early March to keep bones and muscles healthy.

Public Health England advises people who are more at risk of not having enough Vitamin D to take a Vitamin D supplement all year round. A range of products and doses are available at supermarkets, pharmacies and other retailers. 

Anyone who is able to purchase a Vitamin D supplement and start taking them now is advised to do so, even if they are also eligible for a delivery later in the year.