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Advice for clinically extremely vulnerable

Important advice for those who were clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding) in Leicester.

COVID-19 vaccinations

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. However, as you may remain at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to catch COVID-19, you may wish to think particularly carefully about additional precautions you may wish to take. Clinically extremely vulnerable people are now advised, as a minimum, to follow the same guidance as everyone else. 

To reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 you should:

  • meet outside if possible
  • make sure the space is well ventilated if you meet inside; open windows and doors or take other action to let in plenty of fresh air – please see the COVID-19: ventilation of indoor spaces guidance for more information
  • consider whether you and those you are meeting have been vaccinated – you might want to wait until 14 days after everyone’s second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others
  • wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face
  • consider continuing to practice social distancing
  • asking friends and family to take a lateral flow test before visiting you
  • ask home visitors to wear face coverings

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.

Booster vaccinations

Based on existing evidence, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advise that COVID-19 booster vaccines will be offered to the most vulnerable starting from September 2021.

The booster dose will further increase your level of protection. You should take this when it is offered to you. It aims to provide additional resilience against variants, and maximise protection in those who are the most vulnerable ahead of the winter months, when there is increased pressure on the NHS as non-COVID-19 emergency demand is at its highest.

Further details of any booster vaccinations will become variable once the JCVI has considered further evidence. More details on booster vaccinations can be found at GOV.UK.

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.

However, the JCVI advise that the following groups of children should be offered vaccination:

  • 12-15-year olds with the underlying health conditions specified below:
    • Severe neuro-disabilities
    • Down’s Syndrome
    • Underlying conditions resulting in immunosuppression
    • Those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, severe learning disabilities or who are on the learning disability register
  • 12-15-year olds who are healthy, but are household contacts of individuals (adults or children) who are immunosuppressed

The NHS will contact eligible children aged 12-15 to invite them for vaccination. However, if you think that your child is eligible but has not been contacted by the end of August you should contact your GP. Please note, being eligible for vaccination does not mean that your child is considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable or needs to shield.

Healthcare

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.

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 1963646.

If you are concerned that you will still need help during the lockdown period, please fill out our online form or email c19support@leicester.gov.uk.