Rated SIXTH on the list of priorities, why vaccines need to reach the homeless first. Dr Chauhan a leading health campaigner has called on Matt Hancock to make vaccinating the homeless against COVID-19 a top priority – before their low immune systems and other underlying conditions make them prone to the deadly pandemic.Currently the homeless lie sixth in line for inoculation behind care home residents, health workers and older folks. They would likely be classed as, “vulnerable adults under 65” by medics, as their average life expectancy is just 45 years-of-age. Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE believes that their omission from the higher echelons demonstrates once again how government has ignored the homeless throughout COVID – and has needed cajoling all the way to actually remember their plight.Said Dr Chauhan: “If it weren’t for charities like us writing to government and local authorities, the homeless would be out on the streets in the cold unprotected against COVID-19 and with shot immune systems. This is yet another example of their forgetting the frailest. They draw up the most important list in our nation’s recent health history and don’t even think about those who need the vaccine most.”Dr Chauhan has called for a proper national strategy to help the homeless during this Corona virus dominated winter, that includes decent services plus an outreach programme to tell those on the streets and in temporary accommodation that there is help out there for them.Jane (not her real name) has experienced periods of upheaval and homelessness throughout her life and thinks that most rough sleepers are not even aware of how virulent the pandemic is. She said: “Rough sleepers don’t watch the news, and many don’t have mobile phones. When your life is chaos, you are just thinking about the here and now.”Aside from supporting Dr Chauhan’s plea to make vaccinations a priority, she wants to see greater compassion from the public. Jane continued: “I was brought up with good values and to do all you can for other people. I always give rough sleepers a smile, a “how are you?” and try to make them feel good.”Public compassion in Greater Manchester has at least seen masks, hand sanitising gel and now hygiene products handed out to rough sleepers across the region, through donations to Homeless-Friendly. But no protection is greater than that of the vaccine – as long as it is administered properly, concluded Dr Chauhan. “As a health carer who has worked on the Corona virus front-line at care homes, I can absolutely see why older people and health workers need to be prioritised. But so too do the homeless. Each winter they face problems such as hypothermia, pneumonia and even frost bite. Does death from COVID-19 also now be added to that list of shame?”

Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE (our founder) call for urgent COVID-19 vaccine for people who are homeless

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