THE homeless will be among the first groups in the county to receive the Covid 19 vaccine.

Mish Tullar, spokesman for Oxford City Council, confirmed: “Across Oxfordshire, planning is underway for rough sleepers and homeless people to be included among the priority groups to receive the vaccine as it is rolled out.”

Homeless Oxfordshire estimates that 56 people aged over 22 are homeless in the city with a further 40 aged under 22.

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Oxford Liberal Democrats have recently called for the move.

James Cox, Liberal Democrat candidate for Walton Manor and University Parks, said: "Living on the street means you're in contact with hundreds of people every single day. Living in insecure or temporary accommodation means you can't stay home to stay safe, putting you even more at risk of picking up the virus and spreading it further.

"Add to that those experiencing homelessness are more likely to have underlying health conditions makes a compelling case that they be prioritised.”

Across the county councils are working on a range of initiatives to protect the health of rough sleepers during the pandemic.

Mr Tullar said: "In Oxford, Oxford City Council is working with partners to accommodate rough sleepers in additional units we have leased within the city, funded through the Government’s Everyone In and Protect programmes."

He added: "We are supporting health and public health partners in getting those people in temporary hostel accommodation and the small number who have declined a place and continue to sleep rough to register with a GP."