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Coronavirus and COVID-19

Guidance for high-risk groups

Some people living with long-term lung conditions are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Find out what to do if you’re at higher risk, and how to stay safe.

On this page:

How do I know if I’m high risk?

Some people with a long-term lung condition are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and are more likely to be admitted to hospital. This includes people with: 

Immunosuppressive drugs 

People on immunosuppressive drugs (drugs that make your immune system weaker) are also at higher risk of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Long-term Prednisolone
  • Methotrexate
  • Azathioprine
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil and Mycophenolate Sodium
  • Cyclosporin
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus
  • Having received intravenous Cyclophosphamide, Rituximab or Infliximab in the last six months

Other high-risk criteria 

The groups listed on this page cover the lung conditions and immunosuppressive drugs that can make you at higher risk to COVID-19. If your condition is not included or you are not sure, we have listed other factors that may put you at higher risk: 

  • you need to use oxygen at home
  • you use non-invasive ventilation
  • you have to stop walking after 100m or so because of breathlessness, even at your own pace
  • you have had to be admitted to hospital in the last year because of a flare-up of your lung condition.

If you’re concerned about getting coronavirus and don’t know if you are at higher risk, speak to your GP or specialist doctor

How can I stay safe?

If you are at higher risk from serious illness from coronavirus you might be feeling anxious about getting back to normal and wondering how you can keep yourself safe:

The NHS also has some useful advice if you’re feeling worried about getting back to normal.

Treatment for coronavirus

There are coronavirus treatments available to those most at risk of serious illness from coronavirus. The NHS will confirm if you are eligible for these treatments. 

You can read more about coronavirus treatments and who may be eligible on the NHS website.

Last updated: Friday 22 July 2022

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Last medically reviewed: July 2022. Due for review: July 2022

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.