Covid-19 

Although the Covid-19 pandemic is over, the virus is still circulating in our communities.

Most people who have Covid-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and they will recover quickly without the need for special treatment.

Having said that, there are some people who could become seriously ill and require medical attention. For example, older people and those with underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer. Some of these people may be eligible for specific treatments if they are showing signs of Covid-19 infection.

There is a post-covid service for patients who are struggling with symptoms more than 12 weeks after they have had the virus.

To protect yourself, your loved ones and the NHS, we always recommend that you come forward for your Covid-19 vaccinations when invited to do so. 

Covid FAQs

Who can get a spring Covid-19 vaccination?

You may be eligible if you are:

  • aged 75 years or over (by 30 June 2024)
  • aged 6 months or over and have a weakened immune system
  • a resident in a care home for older adults.

It is recommended that you get a spring Covid-19 vaccination 6 months after your last dose. It must be at least 3 months (91 days) since your last Covid-19 vaccination.

You can get your spring Covid-19 vaccination regardless of your previous vaccination history.
Household contacts of people with a weakened immune system are not eligible.

Who else can get a Covid-19 Vaccination?

If you have had a stem cell transplant or CAR-T therapy, your specialist may advise you that you need re-vaccination against Covid-19. Speak to your specialist or GP for advice.

 

Can I get an NHS Covid-19 vaccine for travel or other purposes?

If you are not in an eligible group, it is not currently possible to access COVID-19 vaccination for free on the NHS.

Can I buy a Covid-19 vaccine?

Covid-19 vaccines can now be bought by those aged 12 and over who are not eligible for a free vaccine on the NHS, similar to the flu vaccine.

It is extremely unlikely that healthier/younger individuals will experience serious illness if they catch Covid-19.

You do not need to pay for a Covid-19 vaccine if you are in an eligible group for a seasonal vaccination this spring. This includes all residents in a care home for adults, those aged 75 and over (by 30 June 2024) and those with a weakened immune system.

Who has a weakened immune system?

People who have a weakened immune system can include:

  • those who have or previously had a blood cancer, such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma
  • organ, bone marrow or stem cell transplant recipients
  • people who have HIV infection at all stages
  • people who have a genetic disorder affecting the immune system
  • those undergoing a treatment such as steroid medicine (depending on your dosage), certain monoclonal antibody therapies, chemotherapy or radiotherapy (including those whose treatment ended up to 6 months ago)
  • people who take certain medicines that increase your risk of infection, such as azathioprine, dexamethasone, prednisolone, ciclosporin or mycophenolate (depending on your dosage)
  • recipients of long-term immunosuppressive treatment for conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, scleroderma and psoriasis

This list is a summary and does not cover every health condition, medication or treatment that can cause a weakened immune system.

If you are unsure, you should speak to your pharmacist, GP or specialist for advice.

Do I need to bring anything to my appointment if I have a weakened immune system?

The healthcare professional at your appointment will need to confirm you still have a weakened immune system before they can vaccinate you.

For the health condition or treatment that weakens your immune system, it will help if you can:

  • bring a repeat prescription or medicine box, OR
  • bring an NHS letter confirming your diagnosis,  OR
  • show your health record or medication history in the NHS App.

If your health status has changed and you no longer have a weakened immune system, you don’t need to book another appointment.

Am I eligible for Covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests?

COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests are no longer free for most people.

You may still be able to get free COVID-19 rapid lateral flow tests from the NHS if you have a certain health condition or if you work in healthcare settings or in a hospice.

There is further information on the NHS website: Who can get a free COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test