I along with the Independent members of the Regional Group are calling on government to implement the recommendations of the Oireachtas Health Committee report from April this year addressing Vitamin D deficiency as a public health measure in Ireland.

Recommendations from the report include that
• daily Vitamin D supplementation of 20-25µg/day should be recommended to the entire adult population as a public health measure,
• calls for a public health policy to promote better knowledge of the benefits of Vitamin D
• calls for actions to reduce the cost of Vitamin D supplementation to promote its uptake
• consider offering Vitamin D at Covid test centres to raise awareness

Members of the Regional Group have been liaising with medical professionals in Ireland who have been conducting observational studies in Irish hospitals over the past 18 months, with emerging results published in Irish medical literature indicating that Vitamin D can reduce the severity of Covid 19.

“Vitamin D is already supplemented in some food stuffs in Ireland to promote healthy bone growth and to combat bone disease. Vitamin D supplementation has been considered for years to be extremely safe and to offer considerable health benefits but it’s possible potential to mitigate covid acquisition and disease is only now beginning to be explored”.

“Given its safety profile, it’s very low cost and extending international data which appears to support the case for supplementation particularly through winter months in Northern latitude countries, we are calling for government to immediately implement public health initiatives around supplementation”.

Regional Group members have been prominent in many Covid debates being the first in Leinster House to call for swabbing by nursing home care staff, requesting testing, calling for mandatory mask wearing and initiation of antigen testing. They were responsible for tabling amendments that successfully called for ‘sunset clauses’ to be introduced into covid health restrictive powers legislation during the year.

In light of NPHET’s U-turn on masks and nursing home visits last year and their U-turn on antigen tests this year and the fact that newer and possibly more progressive minds personnel have joined NPHET in recent months we believe it would now be prudent and timely that NPHET re-consider public health advice in respect of Vitamin D.

Those with low vitamin D levels will require several weeks supplementation to increase concentrations to recommended levels and with the impending surge in the Omicron variant in Ireland Regional Group TDs believe there is no time to lose.