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Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Adam Holloway (CON - Gravesham)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made any special arrangements to encourage people living illegally in the UK to receive covid-19 vaccinations in recognition that those people will not have NHS or national insurance numbers and may be fearful of engaging with the covid-19 vaccination programme.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

Vaccination against COVID-19 is offered to every adult living in the United Kingdom free of charge, regardless of immigration status. Entitlement to free National Health Service treatment is generally based on ordinary residence in the UK. A person who can show they have taken up ordinary residence in the UK can access all NHS services immediately, including COVID-19 vaccinations, based on clinical need. No immigration checks are needed to receive these services and the NHS is not required to report undocumented migrants to the Home Office.

An NHS number is not needed to make a booking for a COVID-19 vaccine or when attending a vaccination appointment. If individuals are registered with a general practitioner (GP), their GP will contact them in due course. If they are not registered with a GP, NHS regional teams, will contact unregistered people to ensure they are offered the vaccine. The Enhanced Service Specification: COVID-19 vaccination programme 2020/21 enables practices working within their Primary Care Network groupings from shared vaccination sites to vaccinate unregistered patients provided they are eligible.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Cat Smith (LAB - Lancaster and Fleetwood)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will upgrade the NHS Test and Trace app so that people who have had one covid-19 vaccine dose in England and one covid-19 vaccine dose in Wales can demonstrate their covid-19 vaccination status.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

Obtaining an NHS COVID Pass via the NHS App is available to citizens registered with a general practitioner (GP) in England. Individuals who are not registered with a GP, but who have a National Health Service number can obtain an NHS COVID Pass through the NHS.uk or by calling 119. Currently, vaccines administered in other systems such as Wales are not automatically recorded in the vaccination system used in England.

A Vaccine Data Resolution Service is being established by NHS Digital to support any patient residing in England, registered with an English GP, who may have incomplete COVID-19 vaccination records, either because a vaccination event has not registered appropriately or may have taken place in a different part of the United Kingdom. This service, expected to be available by early August, will initially address issues around vaccination records for those who have been vaccinated in the UK and queries about vaccinations displaying in the NHS App.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Jess Phillips (LAB - Birmingham, Yardley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish communications on the potential continued risk to immunocompromised and immunosuppressed groups who may not receive the same level of protection from the covid-19 vaccines as the general population.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

On 12 July, we published updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable, including those who are immunocompromised and immunosuppressed, in light of the lifting of restrictions on 19 July. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and NHS England’s National Medical Director wrote to clinicians on 16 July regarding immunosuppressed patients to provide an overview of the information available to date regarding vaccine efficacy in the immunosuppressed. This included additional information to inform conversations clinicians may have with patients who are immunosuppressed.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Rachael Maskell (LAB - York Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of requiring covid-19 vaccinations in certain professions on participation in other vaccination programmes.

Answered by Jo Churchill

We do not expect the requirement for COVID-19 vaccinations in certain professions to impact other vaccination programmes. The Green Book sets out recommendations for the vaccinations which health care workers should receive before commencing employment. It recommends that healthcare workers should be up to date with all their routine immunisations and also sets out additional vaccinations health care workers should receive, depending on their role, which include BCG, hepatitis B, influenza and Varicella. It is the role of the employer to provide their employees with this information which is done through the employer’s occupational health service.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Holly Mumby-Croft (CON - Scunthorpe)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will urgently publish health guidance for clinically vulnerable people who are unable to take the covid-19 vaccine due to medical reasons ahead of the removal of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on 19th July.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people was published on 12 July and includes those who are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/19-july-guidance-on-protecting-people-who-are-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-from-covid-19


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Caroline Lucas (GRN - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 July 2021 to Question 25974 on Arthritis: Coronavirus, whether he plans to publish the results of the OCTAVE study on covid-19 vaccine response in people with impaired immune systems before Step 4 of the roadmap for lifting covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

We recognise the importance of this study. UK Research and Innovation, the Department and the OCTAVE study team are preparing a pre-print paper for publication shortly.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
23 Jul 2021

Questioner: Holly Mumby-Croft (CON - Scunthorpe)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what health (a) support and (b) guidance is available for clinically vulnerable people who are unable to receive a covid-19 vaccine due to medical reasons.

Answered by Jo Churchill

The guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people published on 12 July also applies to those who are unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to medical reasons. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/19-july-guidance-on-protecting-people-who-are-clinically-extremely-vulnerable-from-covid-19

If any individual is concerned about their physical or mental wellbeing, they should contact their general practitioner practice or specialist who can provide them with support and guidance on any further measures to further reduce their risk of infection.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Dawn Butler (LAB - Brent Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) steps his Department is taking to encourage take up of the covid-19 vaccinations amongst health workers and (b) guidance and support his Department is offering to staff who may be hesitant about receiving a covid-19 vaccine.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Caroline Lucas (GRN - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) monitor covid-19 vaccination rates and (b) increase vaccine uptake among people who are homeless; if he will publish data to support vaccine uptake among homeless people; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

People who are experiencing homelessness were prioritised for vaccination in phase one of the programme alongside those with underlying health conditions, as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). To ensure access, we have followed the JCVI recommendation that this group should be offered the vaccine without the need for a National Health Service number or general practitioner registration.

Vaccination rates amongst the homeless population is monitored at a regional level within England and is used to inform deployment decisions so that uptake is maximised where possible. Data on vaccination uptake is not currently available as it has not been centrally validated. This is because data provides a snapshot of homelessness rates and as such, any vaccine uptake data relating to homeless people and COVID-19 vaccination uptake is also an estimate that cannot currently be validated. NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to support outreach services and further work is being done to explore the availability of effective on-street models. Local vaccination services also play a vital role in reaching vulnerable groups, including people experiencing homelessness.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Cat Smith (LAB - Lancaster and Fleetwood)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that covid-19 vaccination uptake among people who are homeless is in line with uptake among the general population.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

People who are experiencing homelessness were prioritised for vaccination in phase one of the programme alongside those with underlying health conditions, as advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). To ensure access, we have followed the JCVI recommendation that this group should be offered the vaccine without the need for a National Health Service number or general practitioner registration.

Vaccination rates amongst the homeless population is monitored at a regional level within England and is used to inform deployment decisions so that uptake is maximised where possible. Data on vaccination uptake is not currently available as it has not been centrally validated. This is because data provides a snapshot of homelessness rates and as such, any vaccine uptake data relating to homeless people and COVID-19 vaccination uptake is also an estimate that cannot currently be validated. NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to support outreach services and further work is being done to explore the availability of effective on-street models. Local vaccination services also play a vital role in reaching vulnerable groups, including people experiencing homelessness.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Alan Campbell (LAB - Tynemouth)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ask the Chief Medical Officer to update his open letter of 11 June 2021 to all covid-19 vaccine trial participants to clarify the validity of their covid-19 vaccination status.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

The Deputy’s Chief Medical Officer’s letter reiterated the importance of the clinical trials and that participants should not be disadvantaged. We are currently working with the National Immunisation Management Service to allow participants to access their NHS COVID Pass for both domestic and international travel purposes. In the interim, participating clinical trial sites have provided a letter to participants which certifies that they are in a clinical trial and should be recognised as vaccinated.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Sarah Olney (LDEM - Richmond Park)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's guidance is on the number of weeks that should elapse between receipt of the first and second dose of the covid-19 vaccine for pregnant women; and what the evidence is behind that guidance.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends an interval of eight weeks between doses of all the available COVID-19 vaccines, including for pregnant women. On 14 May 2021, in response to the increasing rates of infection of the Delta variant, the Government amended the interval of second doses for the most vulnerable cohorts who were offered a vaccine in phase one of the programme, from 12 weeks to eight weeks. The eight-week dose interval was applied to all eligible cohorts from 6 July.

The current evidence shows that a longer dose interval produces a better immune response. As such, the JCVI has advised against reducing the dose interval further in order to maximise the effectiveness of the vaccination programme. The JCVI regularly reviews its advice, taking into account new data and evidence on the effectiveness of the programme and epidemiological situation.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Rachael Maskell (LAB - York Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what expert analysis he has received on the effect of a high viral load of covid-19 circulation on covid-19 transmission among people who have (a) received a covid-19 vaccine and (b) people who have not received a covid-19 vaccine.

Answered by Nadhim Zahawi

There is evidence from a range of studies that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing infection with the COVID-19 virus. Public Health England (PHE) participated in two studies, which looked at vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 infection in different populations, including the impact of vaccination on infection, viral load and transmission.

The studies have been published in The Lancet at the following link:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00354-6/fulltext

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00790-X/fulltext

PHE also studied the effect of vaccination on household transmission of COVID-19 in England. The findings showed that individuals who become infected despite vaccination have lower viral load and are less likely to transmit. This study is available at the following link:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2107717


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Drew Hendry (SNP - Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions officials in his Department have had with their European counterparts on (a) mutual acceptance of vaccine status certificates and (b) how to evidence someone who cannot receive the vaccine.

Answered by Robert Courts

We are engaging with international partners, including the EU, and will provide an update in due course on how we will approach vaccinated individuals from other countries. We recognise that there are those who cannot have a vaccine for medical reasons, and we will work to ensure they are not disadvantaged. We have already set out our approach for those on clinical trials, and similarly will set out our approach for those with medical exemptions soon.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Vaccination
22 Jul 2021

Questioner: Dan Jarvis (LAB - Barnsley Central)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to support immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people who are not protected by covid-19 vaccines and are clinically extremely vulnerable to protect themselves after 19 July 2021 and until they are able to receive a booster immunisation.

Answered by Jo Churchill

Guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable individuals was published on 12 July and outlines support for all clinically extremely vulnerable people, including those who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Those with any concerns should contact their general practitioner practice or specialist who can provide personalised support and advice on any additional precautions. Immunosuppressed individuals are a priority cohort for research into therapeutic and prophylaxis treatments such as monoclonal antibody therapies, novel antivirals and repurposed compounds.