Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (324)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

324. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the current advice of his Department on vitamin D regarding its role in strengthening the immune system in the context of Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7833/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Deputy is advised that the existing guidance on vitamin D was updated in November 2020 and advises that adults aged 65 and older take a 15 microgram (600 IU) daily supplement for bone and muscle health.

An evidence synthesis paper on vitamin D and COVID-19 prepared for NPHET was discussed at its meeting of January 28. The NPHET agreed that efforts should be made to increase awareness of existing guidance; and that adults spending increased time indoors or are housebound or in long-term residential care or have dark skin pigmentation are also recommended to take a daily vitamin D supplement.

These recommendations for the use of vitamin D are being incorporated into wider messaging, and additionally are being communicated across the health service, including nursing homes and social care settings as necessary.

There is currently no plan for a campaign providing vitamin D supplements to certain groups. The NPHET agreed that at present there is insufficient high-quality evidence with respect to vitamin D in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, and noted that ongoing developments, particularly Randomised Control Trials, in this area be monitored by the NPHET with guidance reviewed accordingly.