VITAMIN D deliveries will be offered for free to 2.7 million at-risk Brits over coronavirus fears.
The government today revealed that care homes in England will automatically receive supplies of the supplement for their residents as part of the plans.
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People on the clinically extremely vulnerable list will be offered the chance to opt in for a supply to their homes in a letter.
Deliveries are set to begin begin in January and will provide four months worth of Vitamin D to at-risk groups.
Public Health England advises everyone to take 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day between October and early March, particularly the elderly and those with dark skin.
Most people should be able to get regular Vitamin D from natural sunlight between March and September, but often do not get enough during darker months.
It is also feared that many Brits could be at a higher risk of deficiency as a result of lockdown measures, and 2.7 million people have spent extended time shielding indoors during the pandemic.
Health Secretary 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.”
Research is ongoing to investigate the link between vitamin D and coronavirus protection.
A project at Queen Mary University is currently investigating if correcting people’s vitamin D deficiencies over winter can reduce the risk or severity of Covid-19 and other respiratory infections.
The Health Secretary commissioned the research to “ensure we explore every potential opportunity to beat this virus.”
A recent study also says that taking Vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of cancer by up to 38 per cent, the Telegraph reports.