We are writing today to encourage people living with an underlying health condition in cohort 6 to come forward for a Covid-19 vaccine.

People with these conditions, including their carers and those with learning disabilities on their GP register, have been prioritised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation because they are more likely to become seriously unwell from Covid-19.

The vast majority of you should already have been invited for vaccination and more than half of you will have already received your first dose.

Some of you may still be waiting for a letter from your GP.

But the good news is, even if you have not received your letter yet, you can now get an appointment at a vaccination centre or community pharmacy, quickly and easily, by using the national booking system or calling 119 in England.

We are proud to support the vaccination roll-out and are here to support you.

The vaccine is safe and effective and very few people are advised not to have it. However, if you have any concerns, you can discuss these when you book, or with a health professional at your appointment.

Over 20 million people in the UK have had their first dose and great progress has been made by the NHS.

We are very pleased to see the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out providing protection for people, like you, who are most at risk from the virus.

Underlying health conditions in cohort 6 include chronic respiratory, heart, kidney, liver disease and neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy, stroke, vascular disease, diabetes mellitus, immunosuppression, due to a health condition or treatment, asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen, morbid obesity, severe mental illness, as well as sickle cell, lupus and those on GP learning disability registers.

Cohort 6 also includes carers who are eligible for a carer's allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of Covid-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

The vaccines that have been approved for use in the UK have met the strict safety standards set by the medicines regulator on safet, quality and effectiveness.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues, you still need to follow the current government guidance on social contact after receiving your vaccine.

Please come forward to have the jab. It will help save lives and offers the best form of protection from this terrible virus.