Serial killer Levi Bellfield, 52, could receive his vaccine before thousands of vulnerable Britons, according to reports (Picture: PA)
A convicted serial killer, who murdered two women and a child, has been offered his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, it has been claimed.
Levi Bellfield, whose victims include 13-year-old Milly Dowler who he snatched as she walked to school, has been told he and other inmates at Frankland Prison, County Durham, could be vaccinated in the coming weeks, according to The Sun.
The 52-year-old is serving two life sentences for the murders of Miss Dowler, Marsha McDonnell, 19, and Amelie Delagrange, 22, and attempting to murder Kate Sheedy, 18, between 2002 and 2004.
Following the reports, the Ministry of Justice has insisted prisoners will not get preferential treatment and will be vaccinated in line with their cohort.
The top two UK priority groups are currently receiving their jabs, which include the over-80s, care home residents and staff, healthcare workers, the over-70s and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’.
Internal Prison Service documents reveal that Covid jabs will be administered from tomorrow based on public health criteria.
But Bellfield reportedly told inmates he had received a ‘note’ about receiving his jab, while a fellow prisoner, in his 50s, is also said to have been given a similar invitation from the Category A prison’s healthcare department.
Bellfield is serving two life sentences for murdering a child and two women and attempting to kill a third (Picture: Rex)
A note was reportedly handed to inmates at HM Prison Frankland inviting them for a jab (Picture: Getty)
It reads: ‘In January/February 2021 we will be receiving the Covid-19 vaccination to distribute to our vulnerable/priority patients.
‘Due to the criteria set out by Public Health England you will be eligible for the vaccination.’
A prison source told The Sun: ‘For whatever reason, Bellfield and other inmates have received this note about the vaccine.
‘People think it is wrong, because they would not have had anything if they were on the outside and would be way down the list.’
The government has set the ambitious goal of giving the first dose to the most vulnerable groups by mid-February.
The over-65s are next in line and then 16-64-year-olds with serious underlying health conditions. The over-60s, followed by the over-55s and over-50s will then receive theirs.
Schoolgirl Milly Dowler, 13, was abducted and murdered by Bellfield in March 2002 (Picture: PA)
Marsha McDonnell, 19, died at the hands of Bellfield in February 2003 (Picture: Rex)
Amelie Delagrange was killed in August 2004 (Picture: Rex)
Bellfield attempted to kill Kate Sheedy, 18, in 2004 (Picture: PA)
Following the reports, the Ministry of Justice tweeted: ‘The NHS is legally required to vaccinate prisoners in eligible cohorts, such as those over 80, in line with guidance.
‘Prisoners will not receive the vaccine ahead of their cohort.
‘To suggest prisoners are being treated any differently to the general public is completely untrue.’
Former Home Secretary David Blunkett urged the Justice Secretary to step in and ‘find out why scarce vaccine doses are being deployed in this way’.
He told the newspaper: ‘It beggars belief that prisoners, let alone a child murderer, should be given any opportunity for an early vaccine dose.’
Bellfield is serving two life sentences for his crimes (Picture: PA)
More than 6.3 million jabs have been given in the UK so far, with three-quarters of the over-80s receiving their first dose.
But concerns have been raised over a so-called ‘postcode lottery’ due to varying speeds at which the vaccine is being rolled out in different local authorities.
It means some over-80s are still waiting for their invitation in areas that are slower on the vaccine rollout, while other local authorities are vaccinating people deemed less vulnerable.
Matt Hancock told the Commons earlier this week that vaccine supply must be distributed fairly ‘everywhere’.
An NHS spokesman said: ‘No prisoners have received the vaccine yet. But the NHS is legally required to vaccinate prisoners in eligible cohorts, such as those over 80, in line with guidance.’
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