Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher.
There are 2 levels of higher risk:
- high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)
- moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)
The lists below may not include everyone who's at higher risk from coronavirus and may change as we learn more about the virus.
People at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable)
People at high risk from coronavirus include people who:
- have had an organ transplant
- are having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
- are having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
- are having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
- have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
- have had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
- have been told by a doctor they you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
- have a condition that means they have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
- are taking medicine that makes them much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids)
- have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
If you're at high risk from coronavirus, you should have received a letter from the NHS.
Speak to your GP or hospital care team if you have not been contacted and think you should have been.
What to do if you're at high risk
If you're at high risk from coronavirus, you're advised to take extra steps to protect yourself.
This includes not leaving your home for any reason (called shielding).
People at moderate risk (clinically vulnerable)
People at moderate risk from coronavirus include people who:
- are 70 or older
- are pregnant
- have a lung condition that's not severe (such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis)
- have heart disease (such as heart failure)
- have diabetes
- have chronic kidney disease
- have liver disease (such as hepatitis)
- have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
- have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
- are taking medicine that can affect the immune system (such as low doses of steroids)
- are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
What to do if you're at moderate risk
If you're at moderate risk from coronavirus, it's very important you follow the advice on social distancing.
This means you should stay at home as much as possible. But you can go out to work (if you cannot work from home) and for things like getting food or exercising.
Unlike people at high risk, you will not get a letter from the NHS advising you to stay at home at all times.
If you're pregnant and worried about coronavirus, see advice about pregnancy and coronavirus.