London, November 28: The United Kingdom government will distribute free Vitamin D doses to 2.7 million individuals who fall under the high-risk group. The tablets would supplied to care homes or residential addresses, and would be packed for usage throughout the four colder months beginning from January, said a statement issued by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The beneficiaries of the government aide programme are those categorised among the COVID-19 high-risk group. Among them, those staying at care homes would be directly provided the Vitamin D supplement, whereas, eligible individual households would be supplied the same if they opt to be enrolled as beneficiaries. UK PM Boris Johnson Speaks with PM Narendra Modi on COVID-19 Vaccines, Climate Change and Trade.

"Deliveries will be free of charge, starting in January, and will provide 4 months’ worth of supplements to last people through the winter months," said the statement issued by the Health Department.

The supplements will support general health, in particular bone and muscle health. This is particularly important this year as these individuals are more likely to have been indoors for extended periods due to measures introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Because of the incredible sacrifices made by the British people to control the virus, many of us have spent more time indoors this year and could be deficient in vitamin D," Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said.

"The government is taking action to ensure vulnerable individuals can access a free supply to last them through the darker winter months. This will support their general health, keep their bones and muscles healthy and crucially reduce the pressure on our NHS," he added.

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England, said Vitamin D is important for bone and muscle health. All individuals in the country are recommended to take  10 micrograms (400IU) of the vitamin every day between the October and March months.

"This year, the advice is more important than ever with more people spending more time inside, which is why the government will be helping the clinically extremely vulnerable to get Vitamin D," he said.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Nov 28, 2020 10:58 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website