Advice for people at higher risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find latest advice and local support for people at high risk from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Accessing treatment if you catch COVID-19

The NHS is offering antibody and antiviral treatments to people with coronavirus (COVID-19) who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill.

People eligible for COVID-19 treatments

People aged over 12 with the following conditions:            

  • Down's syndrome
  • a rare condition affecting the brain or nerves (including multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis)
  • sickle cell disease
  • certain types of cancer
  • HIV or AIDS
  • a severe liver condition (such as cirrhosis)
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
  • had an organ transplant
  • certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease)
  • a condition or treatment that makes you more likely to get infections
  • had certain types of chemotherapy in the last 12 months
  • had radiotherapy in the last 6 months

A doctor or specialist will confirm if you are eligible for treatment.            


You should have been sent a letter from the NHS if you are eligible. 

If you have not been contacted, get in touch with your GP surgery and ask to speak to the medical secretary. They will be able to confirm if you should be eligible for treatment if you catch COVID-19.

Find out more about the treatments for coronavirus on the NHS website.

Get vaccinated

Vaccinations and boosters are proven to reduce the risk from COVID-19

To book yours call 119 or book online on the NHS national booking system external link.

You can also attend a Leeds walk-in clinic. Visit the NHS website for regularly updated information. external link.

Vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years old

Children who are at higher risk of serious illness are now being offered vaccination against COVID-19. Children who are at risk from COVID-19 should get two smaller doses (10 micrograms) of the COVID-19 mRNA Pfizer vaccine, with 8 weeks between the first and second dose.

Eligible children includes those with:

  • neurological conditions, including children with learning disabilities, Down's syndrome, or autism
  • respiratory diseases – including severe asthma or cystic fibrosis
  • conditions affecting major organs – this includes heart conditions, conditions of the kidney, liver or digestive system or disfunctions of the spleen
  • endocrine disorders - including diabetes
  • immunosuppression – including those taking immunosuppressive medications, steroids or biologics, those undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy or organ, bone marrow or stem cell transplants
  • genetic abnormalities that affect more than one of the body's systems
  • other conditions that your GP or hospital will have told you makes your child at higher risk
  • children aged 5 to 11 who live with or have regular close contact with someone with a weakened immune system. This is to reduce the risk of them passing on the infection to their family members

Booking an appointment

Children who are high risk will be contacted by their GP and invited to book a vaccination appointment. If your child is at high risk from COVID-19 and you have not been contacted by the end of February 2022 you should make contact your GP. 

If you need advice, help to book or assistance to attend your appointment, text CALLBACK to 07480 632 471. Or call 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330 to request a call back.

Additional doses for medical reasons

If you are severely immunocompromised, because you are likely to get a lower level of protection from vaccination you may be advised by your clinicians to get an additional dose of the vaccination – as well as a booster 12 weeks after that. If this applies to you, you should by now have received a letter from the NHS explaining this advice to you. Please keep this letter and show it when you attend a vaccine clinic.

If you take a high dose of immunosuppression medication or have previously been advised that your immune system is severely compromised, and have not yet been contacted for an additional dose of vaccination, you may wish to follow up with your hospital team or the medical secretary at your GP surgery. Please note that not everyone who takes immunosuppression medication will need this additional dose.

If you are severely immunosuppressed and have had your additional dose of vaccination more than 12 weeks ago, you are now advised to access a booster vaccination in any clinic. Please bring your NHS letter with you.

Latest advice to stay safe

Vaccination is proven to reduce the severity of illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) but even fully vaccinated people can still catch or spread the virus. Stay safe by following the advice:

Work from home if you can

If you cannot work from home, talk to your employer about reducing your risk. If you are severely immunocompromised or immunosuppressed seek the advice of your consultant about working.

Ask for employment advice if needed. The acas website has useful free advice for employees and employers external link.

Shop online if you can

Shop online if you can or go shopping at less busy times if possible. Wearing a clean, good quality, well-fitting face covering can help lower your risk.

If you need assistance to get your shopping or prescriptions, or you need help to afford food, call us on 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330.

Avoid crowded indoor spaces

Meeting outdoors in the fresh air is safest.

If you are socialising indoors, make sure you have good ventilation by leaving a window open or letting in fresh air at least once an hour.

Ask friends and family to take a free lateral flow home test before each visit to help minimise your risk of infection. Order tests online external link or collect from local pharmacies.

Wearing a clean, good quality, well-fitting face covering in indoor public spaces can help lower your risk.

If you or someone else tests positive for COVID-19

If someone in your household tests positive, isolate from them within your home if you can, and use a daily home lateral flow test. If you test positive for COVID-19 you should manage your symptoms carefully:

  • if you usually take immunosuppression medication seek advice from NHS 111
  • if you usually use a pulse oximeter to monitor your condition, make sure you keep an eye on your oxygen levels and seek advice from NHS 111 if you need to
  • if you feel very unwell or have difficulty breathing contact NHS 111 and explain you are at a higher risk from COVID-19

For everyone, get advice from NHS 111 or your GP if:

  • you're feeling gradually more unwell or more breathless
  • you have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around
  • you feel very weak, achy, or tired
  • you're shaking or shivering
  • you've lost your appetite
  • you're unable to care for yourself. For example, tasks like washing and dressing or making food are too difficult
  • you still feel unwell after 4 weeks. This may be long COVID go to external link, call 111 or call your GP surgery

If you need help to self-isolate call us on 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330.

Who is at higher risk from COVID-19

Around 55,000 Leeds residents have got health conditions that make them much more likely to suffer serious illness or hospitalisation if they catch COVID-19.

Up to 11,000 people in Leeds have significantly compromised immune systems, either because of a specific condition, or because they take medications that suppress their immune systems. For these people it is important to take the most precautions to avoid coming into contact with the virus.

Find local support

In Leeds, we will continue to provide a wide range of practical and emotional support for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

For help with:

Accessing food or medicines

For help to access food or medicines, call 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330.      

Talking to your employer

For help talking to your employer, call:                 

  • Citizens Advice Leeds: 0113 223 4400
  • Chapeltown Citizens Advice: 0808 278 78 78
  • National Acas Helpline: 0300 123 1100


If you are struggling financially as a result of being at a higher risk from COVID-19, call the Leeds coronavirus helpline on 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330.      

Social and emotional support

If you would like some company or an opportunity to meet new people, there are a range of local groups holding social activities safely. Call 0113 222 4444, ask to speak to an operator and they will arrange a call back. You can read more about what’s on offer: Support for extremely clinically vulnerable people in Leeds external link.                 

Getting online

To help improve your digital skills, you can loan a device to help you stay connected. Call 0113 222 4444 ask to speak to an operator and they will arrange a call back                 

British Sign Language and communication

Contact us if you need help in British Sign Language, another language or another format. You can call us on 0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330 or use the Sign Live Directory by selecting LCC Covid 19, text us on 07480 632 471, or email                 

Stay up to date

Stay up to date on the latest advice for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable by:

Contact us

Leeds coronavirus helpline

0800 953 2303 (Freephone) or 0113 376 0330
Weekdays, 9am to 5pm​​, except Wednesdays when we're open from 10am