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Who is at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) can make anyone seriously ill. But for some people, the risk is higher.

People most at risk of getting seriously ill are known as clinically extremely vulnerable.

Clinically extremely vulnerable list

You're considered clinically extremely vulnerable if:

  • your doctor or GP has classed you as clinically extremely vulnerable because they think you're at high risk of getting seriously ill
  • you've been identified as possibly being at high risk through the COVID-19 Population Risk Assessment
  • you've had an organ transplant
  • you're having chemotherapy or antibody treatment for cancer, including immunotherapy
  • you're having an intense course of radiotherapy (radical radiotherapy) for lung cancer
  • you're having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system (such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors)
  • you have blood or bone marrow cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • you've had a bone marrow or stem cell transplant in the past 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • you've been told by a doctor you have a severe lung condition (such as cystic fibrosis, severe asthma or severe COPD)
  • you have a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections (such as SCID or sickle cell)
  • you're taking medicine that makes you much more likely to get infections (such as high doses of steroids or immunosuppressant medicine)
  • you have a serious heart condition and are pregnant
  • you have a problem with your spleen or your spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
  • you're an adult with Down's syndrome
  • you're an adult who is having dialysis or has severe (stage 5) long-term kidney disease


This list may not include everyone who is at high risk from COVID-19 and may change as we learn more about the virus.

How you find out if you're clinically extremely vulnerable

If you're considered clinically extremely vulnerable, you should have had a letter from the NHS.

Speak to your GP or hospital care team for advice if:

  • you have not been contacted and think you should have been
  • you have been contacted but you're not sure why you're considered clinically extremely vulnerable

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are included on a list called the shielded patient list.

Find out more about the shielded patient list on the NHS Digital website

Advice if you're clinically extremely vulnerable

People at high risk (clinically extremely vulnerable) from COVID-19 are advised to follow the same guidance as everyone else.

You are no longer advised to stay at home (shield). But there are still things you can do to help keep yourself safe.

Read more about advice for people at high risk from COVID-19


If you have not yet had a vaccination, you're still eligible and can book your appointments anytime.

Book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments

Page last reviewed: 16 September 2021
Next review due: 30 September 2021