Health charities form partnership to support Covid-19 vaccine roll out

A partnership of 16 charities has formed to encourage people with underlying health conditions and their carers to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The government’s vaccine roll out programme has now moved to ‘cohort 6’ which includes people with conditions such as HIV, cancer, diabetes, asthma and epilepsy.

Since last month they, and their carers, have been receiving invites from the GPs to be vaccinated.

To encourage take up the British Heart Foundation, Mencap, Macmillan Cancer Support and Diabetes UK are among charities that “will use the combined strength of their networks to reassure people with long term health conditions about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine”, according to the government.

Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew said: “We are incredibly proud to be working with other leading voices in the charity sector to encourage people to get their Covid-19 vaccine.

"People with diabetes have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they develop coronavirus.

“For people living with diabetes, the best protection against coronavirus is to get the vaccine and take whichever vaccine you are offered.”

Other charities involved are: African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust, Asthma UK, British Liver Trust, British Lung Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Carers UK, Epilepsy Action, Kidney Care UK, Lupus UK, MS Society, Sickle Cell and Terrance Higgins Trust.

“People living with HIV are entitled to a Covid-19 vaccine – I’ve already had mine,” said Terrance Higgins Trust chief executive Ian Green.

“It’s essential for people living with HIV to know that their medication will not reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and receiving a vaccine does not affect how well HIV medication works.”

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi added: “The rollout is a truly UK wide effort which is why having the support of these fantastic and trusted charities as we work to ensure everyone eligible gets their vaccine is so important.

“I would like to thank them all for backing this life-saving campaign and offering their expertise and assistance to support the largest medical deployment in British history.”

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