Twelve months into the pandemic and it’s been a rough ride for all of us but particularly those with underlying health conditions. If you’re among those considered most at risk from COVID-19, you may well have felt especially isolated, or even had to shield, for much of the last year. The good news is that you’re now eligible for your first dose of the vaccine.
"The best way of getting on top of the pandemic is to follow precautions and receive the vaccine when you are offered," says Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK. So far, the vaccine has been offered in order of age – as well as to health and social care staff – but the latest priority group, cohort 6, takes into account adults of all ages who are clinically vulnerable.
"It is crucial that people with underlying health conditions are higher up the vaccine register. We are looking at risk and it is higher if you have a pre-existing condition," says Dr Will Budd, a clinical research physician at Imperial College London. "Getting the vaccine can potentially save your life."
Read on for expert answers to common questions about the vaccine and underlying conditions.