Minister apologises after saying those with asthma could get jab

The vaccines minister has apologized for the confusion after apparently saying people with asthma could now get a covid bump.

Nadhim Zahawi was confronted on Good Morning Britain because of confusion over whether people with asthma can now get a vaccine.

People with asthma were initially told they were vulnerable and high on vaccination priority lists, but now the government has stated that asthmatics are not at increased risk of death.

Presenter Kate Garraway and her co-host Ben Shephard spoke to Dr. Amir Khan, and Ben said, “Nadhim Zahawi was on Iain Dales show last night and he seemed to be changing the parameters of the allowable situation when you suffer from asthma.

“I think originally it was a little different, if you were hospitalized or used steroids all the time to increase your asthma, you were in the top 9 categories of serious risk.

“But last night he seemed to change that and suggested that if you use an inhaler you should be on the list at number six.”

Dr. Amir stated, “It’s confusing, and asthma has certainly been the long-term disease people really worry about during this pandemic.

Speaking to Mr Zahawi, Kate said comments “added fear” and asked how he got it wrong.

He said, “You are absolutely right.”

All four of the UK’s most vulnerable groups have now been offered at least a first dose of the vaccine – and the roll-out now includes those at risk.

Mr Zahawi said, “In Category 4, those with serious extremely susceptible cases of asthmatics would have received the first dose in Category 4, and now in Category 6, if they have oral steroids they are in Category 6.

“The JCVI has looked at the evidence and that is what we are looking at and I apologize if there is any confusion.”

Dr. Amir added, “If you have not been given inhalation or oral tablets for an extended period of time because of your asthma or oral steroid use, or if you have been hospitalized in the past 12 months, you will be prioritized as being clinically extremely vulnerable.

“People with mild to moderate, well-controlled asthma have no increased risk of death and are not prioritized.”

Kate asked, “How unhelpful is it when people come into your practice and ask you questions when the Vaccines Secretary says otherwise?

“What he said is that people who use inhalers fall into a prioritized category and not what you described?

“That must make it difficult for you.”

Dr. Amir replied, “It creates a deluge of phone calls with people asking what to do and there could be people who are sick and can’t get through on the phone because people are asking questions.

“We need clarity when it comes to it.”

“Just to be clear, we think [Mr Zahawi] misunderstood that and actually that’s how it is [Dr Amir] described it, “said Ben.


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