Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable
Important information for those who were previously considered clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding) in Leicester.
End of the shielding programme
The success of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programme has meant that the requirement for shielding and identifying people as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) is no longer necessary. However, there remains a smaller number of people whose immune system means they are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, despite vaccination.
You should continue to follow the same general guidance as everyone else, and any condition specific advice you may have been given by your specialist.
Keeping yourself safe
The government advises you to:
- ensure you have had all of the vaccines you are eligible to receive, including your booster COVID-19 vaccination (more details available below)
- continue to follow any condition-specific advice you may have been given by your specialist
- consider continuing to wear a face covering in public spaces
- work from home if this feels right for you – if you cannot work from home, speak to your employer about what arrangements they can make to reduce your risk
- reduce the time you spend in enclosed crowded spaces
- practice social distancing if that feels right for you
- ventilate your home by opening windows and doors to let fresh air in
- consider asking friends and family to take a rapid lateral flow antigen test before visiting you
- ask home visitors to wear face coverings and wear a face covering yourself
- wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face
Further guidance can be found at GOV.UK.
The latest information that we have suggests that having two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine reduces the severity of the illness if you catch the virus.
There are a small number of immunocompromised or immunosuppressed people who may be less well protected by the vaccines. Those individuals should know who they are, will always have been at risk of infectious disease and, pre-pandemic. They would have had to make individual risk assessments in consultation with their GP or clinician. If this applies to you then you should get in contact with your GP or specialist to discuss this further.
All vaccines offer some level of protection, so you should still get vaccinated against COVID-19 even if you are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed.
Children and young people
Recent clinical studies have shown that children and young people are at very low risk of serious illness if they catch the virus. Therefore, they are no longer considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable and should continue to follow the same guidance as everyone else. However, if your child has been advised to isolate or reduce their social contact for short periods of time due to the nature of their medical condition or treatment, rather than because of the pandemic, you should continue to follow the advice of your child's specialist.
The NHS is open, you should continue to access all the NHS services that you need. It is safer for you to use the NHS than to try to manage alone. You can also quickly and easily access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or having an online appointment.
It is also really important to look after your mental health. You can access the Every Mind Matters website for advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health.
You can also access the Hub of Hope which tells you about support available in your area by entering your postcode.
If you or someone you care for is experiencing a mental health crisis, contact a local health professional immediately. If you don’t have a health professional that you talk to regularly about your mental health, free NHS 24/7 crisis hotlines are available in every part of the country. You can find your local service at NHS.UK.
Other support available
You can contact the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme for help collecting shopping, medicine or other essential supplies, or just for someone to talk to. You can call them free on 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm.