1.7 million more people are being added to the 2.3 million already on the Shielded Patient List.
This decision has been made because of a new model by Oxford University that looks at extra risk factors. The model works out someone's risk of becoming seriously ill if they were to catch COVID-19. The model has also determined that Ethnicity and poverty are also COVID-19 risk factors, and campaigners demand black, Asian and minority ethnic groups have higher priority for vaccination.
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This new model has been used at a national level to help identify an additional group of patients with specific multiple risk factors which, combined, may put them at similar risk to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to severe outcomes.
As a precautionary measure, this group will now be added to the Shielded Patient List (SPL), on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. This is to enable them to be prioritised for vaccination, if not already vaccinated, and to provide them with additional advice and support.
If you are now in the group that is shielding
You will receive a letter in the coming days highlighting guidance to support you. People within this group who are over 70 have already been invited for a COVID-19 vaccination. Those between 19 and 69 years will now be prioritised for a vaccination.
You can speak to your GP or specialist clinician if you have questions as to why you have been added to the Shielded Patient List.