Extremely vulnerable patients told to shield once more

At the start of the third national lockdown to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government wrote to people who are defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable, outlining updated guidance on shielding.

As with the guidance that was issued during the first national lockdown, the Government is advising these individuals to take extra precautionary shielding measures in addition to the wider lockdown restrictions.

This includes staying at home as much as possible, apart from exercising carefully outdoors or attending health appointments, and not attending work unless it cannot be done from home. It also includes avoiding visiting pharmacies in person. This advice on shielding will initially apply until February 21 2021.

Following the announcement, NHS England & Improvement confirmed that the pandemic delivery service will now cover clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients anywhere in England. The updated service commenced on January 5 – initially running until 23:59 on 21 February 2021 – replacing the service previously in place in Tier 4 areas. All pharmacies across England will be required to ensure those on the shielded patient list receive their prescription medicines and appliances.

Individuals who are classed as CEV will get priority access to Covid-19 vaccination and will receive a separate letter informing them of this process.

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