BORIS Johnson is set to follow the Scottish Government’s lead on giving free vitamin D to vulnerable groups following research suggesting it can reduce the worst symptoms of Covid-19.

The Prime Minister told the Commons he would be updating MPs shortly on the move which Nicola Sturgeon’s administration has already announced. Former Tory Cabinet minister David Davis raised the matter with Johnson, pointing to a decision by the Scottish Government to give four months supply of vitamin D to people shielding.

He told the Commons: “Over the weekend a number of eminent scientists called on the Government to try to resolve the vitamin D deficiency issues in the United Kingdom to reduce the severity of the pandemic.

“There have been dozens of studies over hundreds of countries in the last six months which show or imply, anyway, that this could reduce the infection rates by half ... and the case death rates by half again.”

The Prime Minister replied: “We are indeed looking at the possible beneficial effects of vitamin D and ... I know we will be updating the House shortly.”

READ MORE: SNP demand Boris Johnson's 'vague, evasive' furlough answers are clarified

Last week it emerged an NHS letter in Scotland said people who have been shielding are to be sent a four-month supply to compensate for a lack of natural sunlight. Vitamin D boosts the immune system and protects against respiratory infections.

“It replenishes its stocks through sunlight on the skin. An NHS letter states: “If you were shielding inside until June 19 this year you may have had less sunlight than usual this summer. This could have an impact on your vitamin D levels.”

It suggests all Scots should consider taking a daily supplement of the “sunshine vitamin”, adding: “In Scotland we only get enough of the right kind of sunlight for our bodies to make vitamin D roughly [from] April to September.

“Without enough vitamin D children can be at risk of developing rickets which causes weak and badly formed bones. In adulthood and later life, a lack of vitamin D can lead to a greater risk of broken bones.”