Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Health what consideration has been given to provision of Vitamin D to the wider population in the fight against COVID-19.
Minister of Health: My Department has a formal link with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) under which NICE Clinical Guidance is reviewed locally for applicability in Northern Ireland and where found to be applicable is endorsed by the Department for implementation within Health and Social Care (HSC). NICE Covid-19 rapid guidelines are automatically endorsed as applicable in Northern Ireland from the date of publication by NICE in accordance with HSC Circular (SQSD) (NICE Covid-19 Procedures) 12/20 which is available at:
On 17 December 2020 NICE published COVID-19 rapid guideline NG187, available at https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG187, following a review of the current available evidence. This review concluded that there was insufficient evidence of benefit to support the use of vitamin D to prevent or treat COVID-19, outside a clinical trial setting.
In light of this, I can advise that the Department does not intend to make vitamin D available for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19 at this time, however this position will be reviewed in future should further evidence become available that would support its use for this reason. It remains the case that Vitamin D products continue to be prescribed to vulnerable patients in Northern Ireland in circumstances where it is deemed clinically appropriate to do so.