People with underlying conditions including cancer, diabetes and heart disease are being encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine by UK health charities.
The charities, including Mencap, Diabetes UK and Lupus UK, have urged those with underlying medical conditions, their carers, and those with learning disabilities on their GP register, to book a vaccination to protect themselves and those around them from coronavirus. People in cohort 6 have been prioritised for the vaccine because they have conditions that mean they are more likely to become seriously unwell from coronavirus.
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‘The backing of the charities who work every day to support those who are entitled to a jab as part of cohort 6 is a great boost for the vaccine rollout and shows what we can achieve when we pull together,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.
‘This open letter is a hugely important way to reassure those with underlying health conditions, and their carers, about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. The charities’ support for this national vaccine effort is invaluable in encouraging more people to come forward and helping us to save lives.’
More than half of those in cohort 6 have already received their first dose of the vaccine and it’s hoped that the charities’ letter – alongside text messages from the NHS – will help to increase take up further among those in this at-risk group. The charities who signed the open letter are among 22 who have joined together in partnership to reassure those they support about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
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‘We have already given a first dose of the vaccine to more than half of those in cohort 6 and I am grateful to the charities who are encouraging more people in that group to come forward,’ said Minister for Vaccines Nadhim Zahawi.
‘The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and offers the chance to protect yourself and others – that’s why it’s vital that people get their jab. This open letter should help to reassure those with any concerns the vaccine is safe and supported by more than twenty of our most trusted charities.’