Sixteen frontline charities have formed a new partnership to encourage those with long-term health conditions and their carers to get the Covid-19 vaccine
Organisations including The British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support and Mencap are joining with the government and NHS to promote vaccine uptake among those the charities support every day.
Since 15 February those in cohort 6 – people with certain underlying health conditions and their carers – have been receiving invites from their GP practice to come forward for life saving vaccinations to protect them from Covid-19.
Working with the government on the UK’s largest ever medical deployment, the charities will use the combined strength of their networks to reassure people with long-term health conditions about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
Organisations that have signed up so far are: African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT); Asthma UK; British Heart Foundation; British Liver Trust; British Lung Foundation; Cancer Research UK; Carers UK; Diabetes UK; Epilepsy Action; Kidney Care UK; Lupus UK; Macmillan Cancer Support; Mencap; MS Society; Sickle Cell Society; and Terrence Higgins Trust.
These charities support those included in priority vaccination categories, including cohort 6 which covers individuals aged 16 to 64 with certain long-term conditions identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation as being at higher clinical risk from Covid-19.
These conditions include chronic respiratory, heart, kidney, liver disease and neurological conditions, including MS and epilepsy, vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen, morbid obesity, severe mental illness, as well as sickle cell, lupus and those on GP learning disability registers.
Chris Askew OBE, chief executive of Diabetes UK, 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.”