Sefton residents have recently been alerted to their clinically extremely vulnerable Covid-19 status as part of a national push by Government.
QCovid, a new predictive risk model developed by Oxford University, uses technology that analyses a combination of risk factors based on medical records, to assess whether somebody may be more vulnerable than was previously understood, has helped clinicians identify, for the first time, a new group of people who may be at high risk from Covid-19.
In letters to those affected, including those residents already known to be clinically extremely vulnerable, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHCS) is urging residents to continue shielding until March 31 – vital information on how to do this can be accessed by visiting the Sefton Council Covid-19 webpages.
Also in the letters, is confirmation that those residents now categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable will receive their vaccination jabs sooner, which was one of the key drivers to develop the innovation.
The risk model has been combined with emerging evidence gathered from the first wave of the pandemic following a study commissioned by England’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty and funded by the National Institute for Health Research. The research found there are several health and personal factors, such as age, ethnicity and BMI, as well as certain medical conditions and treatments, which, when combined, could mean someone is at a higher risk from COVID-19.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council, said: “The vaccination programme is the most vital tool we have in limiting the impact of Coronavirus in our communities. The arrival of QCovid and the fact it has enabled even more of our clinically extremely vulnerable residents to be administered with their first Covid vaccine jab, is reassuring for them and their many loved ones.
“While this an important step forward, I want to echo the sentiments of the letter sent to them from the DHCS and urge caution from all clinically extremely vulnerable residents – please do not let dropping infection rate and the vaccine rollout lead to complacency, please continue adhering to the shielding advice until March 31.”