ANOTHER 1.7 million Brits have been told to shield from Covid-19, joining the 2.2 million already on the list.
People who were already shielding included those with severe respiratory conditions or people undergoing treatment, but the new list takes into account your ethnicity and weight.
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Throughout the pandemic various studies have suggested that people who are obese are more at risk from severe Covid-19.
Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS previously said high levels of obesity may have fuelled Brit fatalities.
The UK is the second fattest nation in Europe, after Malta.
More than a quarter of Brits are obese – with a body mass index over 30. It compares to just one in 35 in the 70s.
He warned that overweight Brits were twice as likely to be killed by Covid-19 than those at a health weight.
Studies have also shown that people in the BAME group (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) are at a greater risk.
Researchers from the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham believe poverty, poor health and frontline jobs are to blame.
ARE YOU ON THE LIST?
Explaining who is on the new shielding list, Good Morning Britain’s Dr Amir Khan said those added to the list will be contacted by their GP.
He said: “This whole new system has been bought about by Oxford University, it’s a more sophisticated tool to identify people who need to be shielding and it’s identified 1.7 million more people on top of the 2.2 million people who were already shielding.
“They will be receiving a letter asking them to shield until March 31 and it takes into account ethnicity, weight and social deprivation.
“People who are asked to shield are asked to stay at home. They will get the support that shielding people will get that they won’t get otherwise.
“They may get financial support and delivery support for food, all that kind of stuff that if they weren’t asked to shield then they wouldn’t get.”
Dr Khan said there “where you live” part of the new tool is more about social depravation.
“We know that people who are from socially deprived backgrounds are at a higher risk of dying with coronavirus for a number of other social reasons – crowded houses, jobs they may work in and underlying health conditions”.
The model looks at age, underlying health issues and prescribed medications as well as ethnicity, deprivation (by postcode) and weight.
From this it then determines a person’s risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract Covid-19.
Medical records have also been searched in order to determine high-risk patients based on their risk factors.
People who are on the shielding list will given priority when it comes to vaccines.
So far over 15.5 million Brits have received a first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech jab or the Oxford/AstraZeneca offering, with half a million having received their second dose.
The government states: “The clinically extremely vulnerable will get priority access to vaccination against Covid-19 before the general population and in line with the priority ordering set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
“You will be contacted again by the NHS with more information on when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine.”
People in the clinically extremely vulnerable group include people with specific cancer and people with respiratory conditions.
Dr Jenny Harries yesterday said those added to the shielding list will receive the additional support including medicine deliveries, priority slots for supermarkets and statutory sick pay.
She said: “We have a new, evidence-based, data-driven, predictive risk model which allows us to identify adults with multiple risk factors that make them more vulnerable to Covid-19.
“We can now identify additional people and help protect them now and in the future.
“For the first time, we are able to go even further in protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.
“This new model is a tribute to our health and technology researchers. The model’s data-driven approach to medical risk assessment will help the NHS identify further individuals who may be at high risk from COVID-19 due to a combination of personal and health factors.”
Those within this group who are over 70 will have already been invited for vaccination and 820,000 adults between 19 and 69 years will now be prioritised for a vaccination.
WHO ARE THE CLINICALLY EXTREMELY VULNERABLE?
People with the below conditions are automatically deemed to be extremely clinically vulnerable.
- solid organ transplant recipients
- people with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
- people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
- people with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- people with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell disease)
- people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
- problems with your spleen, for example splenectomy (having your spleen removed)
- adults with Down’s syndrome
- adults on dialysis or with chronic kidney disease (stage 5)
- women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
- other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs. GPs and hospital clinicians have been provided with guidance to support these decisions