In an attempt to protect those who are more at risk in the fight agains the coronavirus, The UK government has decided to prioritize the homeless of England in receiving the COVID-19 jab.
Leaving no one behind
The targeted campaign's mission is to provide immunization to a part of the population that is most likely to live with undiagnosed health conditions as they have a less regular access to healthcare. The recommendation to put the homeless in the same at risk category as adults living with preexisting health conditions came form the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI).
And further support was given by Matt Hancock, Britain's Health Secretary, who said that the decision to prioritize those who live on the streets would only be saving more lives in the long run:
It's so important that nobody gets left behind in this national effort. We know there are heightened risks for those who sleep rough and today, I have accepted the advice of the independent experts at the JCVI to prioritise those experiencing rough-sleeping or homelessness for vaccination alongside priority group six.
Homelessness in itself is a disease
And although many were quick to praise the decision the JCVI took to prioritize those most vulnerable to dying from the virus, others were pointing out that an alternative –perhaps even more effective– solution would be to deal with the homelessness crisis in the UK.
Jon Sparkes, the chief executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, explained that the vaccine will not necessarily make homelessness any safer for those who are a victim of it:
Whether it is living on the streets, or in cars and sheds, or constantly moving between friends' sofas, homelessness is extremely damaging to both your physical and mental health. We desperately need a plan to ensure everyone has a safe and secure home.