Dr Adrian James comments on Lancet Psychiatry paper on severe mental illness and COVID-19 vaccination

Statement / comment
19 February 2021

The Lancet Psychiatry have published an article, titled "Severe mental illness and European COVID-19 vaccination strategies", in which researchers systematically reviewed national COVID-19 vaccine deployment plans across 20 European countries.

Commenting on the paper, Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said:

"The Royal College of Psychiatrists has been working hard to ensure people with severe mental illness and intellectual disabilities are not forgotten about in the UK’s roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“The evidence is clear. These patients have a higher risk of infection and severe illness with Covid-19. Inpatient and residential settings are also higher risk environments. We are positively engaging with the UK government to make this case and advocate for prioritisation.
"This important and timely paper highlights several countries, including the UK, that have included severe mental illness and intellectual disability in their approaches to vaccine priority. We urge other countries to learn from this research and ensure that these vulnerable patients are prioritised."

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