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Extremely vulnerable patients

A number of patients will be sent letters advising them to shield for 12 weeks. 

This guidance is for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable, including children. It’s also for their family, friends and carers.

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should have received a letter telling them they’re in this group or been told by their GP.  If you have not received a letter and think you should be included in this category, please arrange a telephone review with your GP to discuss.

Extremely vulnerable patients include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. People with specific cancers:
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  •  people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  1. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary (COPD).

  2. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell).

  3. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.

  4. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

If you have been told that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you should:

  • follow the advice in this guidance (link below)
  • register online even if you do not need additional support now

Advice regarding shielding can be found here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Certain patients, typically those who are offered an Influenza Vaccine annually, are at High Risk and should practice social distancing which is different from shielding.  Further guidance on social distancing is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

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