Elderly woman holds pill in her hand ready to be taken.

2.5 million to receive supplementary vitamin D

The Government has announced that 2.5 million vulnerable people will receive supplementary vitamin D this winter.

All care homes will receive provisions to distribute the vitamins across their homes, with clinically extremely vulnerable people outside of care homes being invited to decide whether they would like to take part.

The skin naturally makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, however in winter, the amount of sunlight means that less vitamin D is produced, and even less so this winter when people are being actively encouraged to stay indoors.

Health experts advise that everyone should be supplementing vitamin D between October and March, with vulnerable people being more likely to feel the effects of not having enough vitamin D in their system.

There is limited evidence that suggests vitamin D fights or helps to fight against Covid-19, although researchers are sifting through existing evidence to see for sure whether vitamin D could help.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said:

“Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in vitamin D.

“The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free supply to last them through the darker winter months. This will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS.

“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.”

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