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Who is at high risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Some people who are considered at high risk from COVID-19 are eligible for a booster vaccine dose or a 3rd dose of a vaccine.

People who are at high risk and eligible for a booster vaccine dose

People aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19 are eligible for a booster vaccine dose.

These conditions include:

  • long-term lung conditions (such as severe asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis)
  • long-term conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels (such as congenital heart disease, heart failure and peripheral arterial disease)
  • long-term kidney disease
  • long-term liver conditions (such as cirrhosis and hepatitis)
  • conditions affecting the brain or nerves (such as dementia, Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy or stroke)
  • severe or multiple learning disabilities
  • Down's syndrome
  • diabetes
  • problems with the spleen or the spleen has been removed (splenectomy)
  • severe obesity (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • severe mental conditions (such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder)
  • a condition or treatment that makes you more likely to get infections
  • a condition your doctor advises puts you at high risk

Find out more about the COVID-19 booster vaccine

People who have a weakened immune system and are eligible for a 3rd dose

A 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is being offered to people aged 12 and over who had a weakened immune system when they had their first 2 doses.

This includes people who had or have:

  • a blood cancer (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
  • a weakened immune system due to a treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • an organ or bone marrow transplant
  • a condition that means you have a very high risk of getting infections
  • a condition or treatment your specialist advises makes you eligible for a 3rd dose

Find out more about the COVID-19 vaccine 3rd dose for people with a weakened immune system

Advice if you're at high risk

People at high risk 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

Important: Clinically extremely vulnerable

People are no longer being called clinically extremely vulnerable.

Some people who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable are still considered at high risk from COVID-19.

Read the guidance for people previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK

Page last reviewed: 25 November 2021
Next review due: 9 December 2021