Covid shielding rules: Do I have to shield if I’ve had the vaccine?

Covid shielding rules: Do I have to shield if I’ve had the vaccine?


Gogglebox families discuss coronavirus isolation and shielding

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Shielding, a strategy the Government used last year to prevent the UK’s most vulnerable from contracting the potentially deadly COVID-19, has returned for England. While most of the country has spent more than a month observing stay at home rules and getting vaccinated, many people remain at risk. As such, ministers have composed a new list of people asked to shield using an algorithm.

Do I have to shield if I’ve had the vaccine?

Shielding emerged as a method to protect the most vulnerable people from Covid last year.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has since drafted them into the top priority groups to receive their Covid jab.

But the Government has now extended its shielding list to include another 1.7 million people.

An algorithm developed by Oxford University scientists has placed people at “potentially severe risk” from Covid into the shielding group.

Everyone included in the group will soon receive a letter from the NHS telling them as such.

Altogether, the list of people urged to shield now includes four million people.

Everyone joining the list will also move up the vaccine priorities outlined by the JCVI.

While vaccination protects 90 to 95 percent of cases with a full dose, they can’t prevent every instance.

As such, the Government has advised anyone included on the shielding list to continue doing so whether they have had the full vaccine or not.

Guidance from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) states it is still measuring the impact of vaccines amongst the vulnerable.

The advice states: “Even if you have had both doses of the vaccine, you should continue to follow this shielding advice, until further notice as we continue to assess the impact of vaccination among all groups.”

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“The people you live with should continue to follow the public health rules and guidance as long as they are in place, including if you have received the vaccine and also if they have received the vaccine.”

Everyone on the shielding list will have to follow this guidance for another six weeks until March 31.

They will receive enhanced advice about how to do so from NHS professionals.

Dr Jenny Harries, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said the Oxford model would allow them to identify anyone who could benefit from this.

She said: “For the first time, we are able to go even further in protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.

“This new model is a tribute to our health and technology researchers.

“The model’s data-driven approach to medical risk assessment will help the NHS identify further individuals who may be at high risk from Covid-19 due to a combination of personal and health factors.

“This action ensures those most vulnerable to Covid-19 can benefit from both the protection that vaccines provide, and from enhanced advice, including shielding and support, if they choose it.”

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