Covid-19 vaccine: Who counts as clinically vulnerable?

15 February 2021, 16:00

Covid: Clincally vulnerable next to be called for their coronavirus vaccine
Covid: Clincally vulnerable next to be called for their coronavirus vaccine. Picture: PA

By Zoe Adams

Are asthma and diabetes patients classed as clinically vulnerable? The UK vaccine rollout enters the next stages and invites those with underlying health conditions for the immunisation.

The coronavirus vaccine rollout in England has officially begun to immunise the next stages of the Covid-19 vaccine priority list including those aged 65 and over and anyone from the age of 16 on the clinically vulnerable list.

As of 15th February, more than 15 million people across the UK have received their first dose of the Covid vaccine as the rollout focused on those who were most vulnerable to catching the virus.

So far, NHS and care workers, those aged 70 and over and anyone who is extremely clinically vulnerable would have been invited for their Oxford of Pfizer jab.

Now, the UK is moving on to vaccinating those aged 65 and over and those aged 16 and over who are clinically vulnerable or with underlying health conditions.

Related article: Will children get the Covid-19 vaccine?

So what is classed as clinically vulnerable in the UK? Does this include patients with asthma and diabetes? And when can they expected to be invited for their Covid vaccine? Here’s the latest information:

The Covid-19 vaccine has successfully been given to the majority of the first four priority groups
The Covid-19 vaccine has successfully been given to the majority of the first four priority groups. Picture: PA

Who counts as clinically vulnerable for the Covid-19 vaccine?

Different from those who were classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, the ‘clinically vulnerable’ includes those who:

  • have a severe lung condition (such as severe asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis). Severe asthma is defined as those who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission.
  • have heart disease (such as heart failure)
  • have diabetes
  • have chronic kidney disease (such as kidney failure)
  • have chronic liver disease (such as hepatitis)
  • have a blood cancer (such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma)
  • have dementia
  • have a condition affecting the brain or nerves (such as Parkinson's disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy)
  • lowered immunity due to disease or or treatment (such as HIV infection, steroid medication, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
  • have rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or psoriasis (who may require long term immunosuppressive treatments
  • have a condition that means they have a high risk of getting infections
  • have had an organ transplant
  • have had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • a problem with your spleen (such as sickle cell disease or coeliac syndrome) or you have had your spleen removed
  • are very obese (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • are severely mentally ill (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disease)
  • have a severe or profound learning disability
Boris Johnson has praised the UK Covid-19 vaccine rollout
Boris Johnson has praised the UK Covid-19 vaccine rollout. Picture: PA

When are the clinically vulnerable getting their Covid vaccines?

From now, those aged 65 and over or classed as clinically vulnerable should start expecting an invite for the jab.

If you fall in any of the four top priority groups, and are yet to be invited for your Covid vaccine, you are urged to contact the NHS to get booked in.