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ANOTHER 1.7million Brits have been told to shield, and the 800,000 of them who are yet to get a Covid jab will be prioritised for vaccinations.
Those shielding have been told to stay home until March 31 at the earliest, and the race is on to make sure they are all vaccinated.
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The race is on to vaccinate those who now need to shieldCredit: Rex Features
What is shielding?
Those asked to take part in shielding are advised to stay at home at all times.
They have also been warned against going to the shop, the park or to any public places.
When will shielding end?
People shielding have been told to stay home until March 31 at the earliest.
Of the 1.7million new people told to shield, 800,000 are yet to receive their first Covid jab and the race is now on to vaccinate them.
Dr Jenny Harries said the group will receive the additional support including medicine deliveries, priority slots for supermarkets and statutory sick pay.
Those within this group who are over 70 will have already been invited for vaccination and 820,000 adults between 19 and 69 years will be prioritised for a vaccination.
Around 2.2 million people are currently on the list in England, many of whom were identified for a single reason, such as specific cancers, people on immunosuppression drugs or those with severe respiratory conditions.
It is not clear when shielding will come to an end.
What are the current shielding guidelines?
The government has advised people who are shielding to stay at home as much as possible.
People can still go outside for exercise or to attend health appointments, but should keep all contact with others to a minimum. They should also avoid busy areas.
Shielding people are strongly advised to work from home if they can.
They should stay at home as much as possible and shouldn’t travel unless it is essential, for example going to health appointments.
Those shielding are also advised not to visit shops, and instead use online shopping. They should also avoid pharmacies.
Who is on the shielding list?
The list of people who were told they needed to be shielding includes:
- solid organ transplant recipients
- people with cancer who are having chemo
- people with lung cancer having radical radiotherapy
- people with blood cancers – leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma – at any stage of treatment
- patients having immunotherapy or other antibody treatments for cancer
- those having targeted cancer treatments that affect the immune system – protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors for example
- people who’ve had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months or who are taking immunosuppression drugs
- people with severe respiratory conditions like cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and COPD
- people with rare diseases and inborn errors of the metabolism that increase the risk of infections – SCID or homozygous sickle cell for example
- people on immunosuppression therapies that increase the risk of infection
- women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired