Ministers have announced an additional 1.7 million people in England will be asked to shield due to new modelling from Oxford University identifying adults at higher risk from Covid-19, with 800,000 clinically vulnerable patients offered a priority vaccine by their GP as a result.
But Dr Zahid Chauhan, who administered the first-ever vaccinations for a homeless couple in Oldham in last month, asked how GPs could determine if somebody was clinically vulnerable if they hadn’t been assessed.
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Chauhan said: “Without a major outreach programme, the Government’s decision to roll-out the Covid-19 vaccine to those with serious health conditions will not reach those who need it most, namely the homeless and others disengaged from the mainstream.
“To be classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ a patient would need a GP assessment and since those experiencing homelessness do not attend surgeries for fear of not being treated due to a lack of permanent address, they simply will not qualify.”