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People who are homeless in England prioritised for coronavirus vaccine - Crisis responds

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock has today accepted the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on prioritising people who are homeless for the coronavirus vaccine. 

The JCVI advises that local teams exercise operational judgement and consider universal offer of the vaccine to people experiencing homelessness, alongside delivery to people in priority group six.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: “We welcome the Secretary of State’s acceptance and commitment to this advice from JCVI. As it makes clear, local areas can prioritise people who are homeless for vaccination and must make appropriate considerations in their vaccine rollout plans. 

“People without a home experience severe health inequalities, including being almost twice as likely to have heart disease and respiratory conditions which will increase their risk from Covid-19, so it is vital they are able to access the vaccine as quickly as possible. 

“The UK Government must now ensure that, working with homelessness services, all local areas have the resources they need to make this happen. 

“But make no mistake, the vaccine will not make homelessness safe. Whether it is living on the streets, or in cars and sheds, or constantly moving between friends’ sofas, homelessness is extremely damaging to both your physical and mental health. We desperately need a plan to ensure everyone has a safe and secure home.”