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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 November 2021

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Questions (168)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

168. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Health when early treatments for Covid-19 patients will be made available to Irish citizens; if the Department will run an awareness campaign in relation to the importance of vitamin D and other health measures that citizens can take to improve their health during the winter period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57649/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Developments in relation to potential interventions are kept under frequent review, and a HIQA evidence synthesis paper on? potential interventions for COVID-19, including vitamin D, prepared for the NPHET, was discussed at its meeting on 26th May 2021.

Available to read here: www.hiqa.ie/sites/default/files/2021-08/Advice-to-NPHET_Interventions-to-prevent-COVID-19.pdf.

The NPHET minutes of 26th May are available to read here:

www.gov.ie/en/collection/691330-national-public-health-emergency-team-covid-19-coronavirus/#april-june-2021 .

With regard to Vitamin D supplementation in the population, the Deputy is advised that the existing guidance on vitamin D was updated in November 2020 and advises that in addition to following a healthy diet, adults aged 65 years and older to take a 15 microgram (600 IU) daily supplement for bone and muscle health.

Available to read here: www.gov.ie/en/press-release/7d595-new-advice-on-vitamin-d-supplement-for-people-aged-65-years-and-older.

The NPHET agreed that efforts should be made to increase awareness of existing guidance. Adults spending increased time indoors or those who 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 have been incorporated into wider messaging, and additionally are being communicated across the health service, including nursing homes and social care settings, as necessary. The Department of Health issued a communication to the HSE and Nursing Homes Ireland to encourage implementation of guidance on vitamin D in nursing homes in February 2021. Additional communication is planned for November 2021.

The Government will continue to look to the NPHET to provide recommendations with regard to Vitamin D and COVID-19.

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