Redefining the needs of vulnerable groups to pandemics - lessons from COVID-19

Call for Evidence (Jan 2021- )

  1. Introduction

People with underlying medical vulnerability have felt the worst effects of COVID-19, facing significant risks of severe morbidity and mortality. The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and changing shielding guidance have meant people with underlying health conditions have struggled to access the necessary protection, support and  health services they needed, compounding the direct health risk from COVID-19.

Ensuring people with underlying health conditions are protected and supported during future pandemics may therefore involve public policy change to ensure reduced exposure to the direct pandemic threat and that vulnerable groups have prioritised access to the requisite healthcare as it could reduce their vulnerability to COVID-19 and save lives.

  1. Terms of reference

The APPG is seeking written evidence focused on vulnerability to COVID-19 and the lessons we can learn to inform better long-term health policy decision making. The APPG at this stage is seeking initial evidence from a broad range of parties. Submissions will be reviewed on a continuous basis and those of particular interest may be followed up with an invitation to submit oral evidence. All the evidence gathered will inform the APPG’s inquiry and its recommendations to the UK Government regarding the needs of vulnerable groups to future pandemics.

As a guide, the following topics are being considered particularly closely as part of this inquiry:

  • Overall government strategy to protect people with underlying health vulnerability
  • The public health guidance on the protection of vulnerable groups through COVID-19, and its use and application by the UK government
  • The UK government’s use of expert scientific and health advice in producing  COVID-19 guidance
  • Vulnerable groups’ access to receive COVID-19 vaccination
  • Vulnerable groups’ access to health services and treatment reducing their vulnerability through the pandemic
  • Local and national response coordination to protect and support vulnerable groups
  • The involvement of vulnerable groups in public health policy and decision-making through COVID-19
  • The UK government preparedness to protect vulnerable groups to future pandemics

Please send your contribution via email appg(at)