Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arthritis

16 February 2021
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We’ll be continually reviewing this content as the COVID-19 situation evolves across the UK and guidance changes over time. Therefore, it’s important to check this page regularly for updates.  

Latest updates

Our COVID-19 advice for England has been updated following the recent easing of lockdown roadmap annoucement. 

Read the latest COVID-19 advice and guidance for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

COVID-19 vaccines and arthritis 

Find out the most up-to-date answers to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Shielding and protecting the most vulnerable

If you're being treated for an autoimmune condition it may increase your risk of getting coronavirus. At the height of the pandemic you may have been advised to shield or self-isolate to protect yourself.

The guidance on shielding and protecting vulnerable people varies across the nations. Please check the guidance for 'extremely clinically vulnerable people' for where you live:

If you were originally asked to shield, you will receive more advice for how to further protect yourself, and the support available to you. 

For more detailed information and definitions of the different 'vulnerable' groups read Arthritis and COVID-19 - what are the risks?

If you're in the 'clinically vulnerable' group, you may more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the average person, but not as much as the people in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' group. This is similar to the group eligible for the annual flu vaccine. The advice for people in this group is to follow social distancing advice and stay at home as much as possible.

We're continuing to monitor Government announcements from each nation and will provide updates as more information becomes available. 

Treatments and appointments during COVID-19

The pandemic has led to changes in scheduled surgery, treatment and appointments.

Learn more about preparing for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what to expect before, on the day and after an operation.

NHS England have also released guidance for healthcare professionals around good communication (PDF, 119 KB) to ensure clear, compassionate and timely communication with everyone impacted by delays to appointments and treatments.

Information and resources

Looking after yourself

Current advice for people with arthritis recommends that you should wash your hands regularly, practice socially distancing and stay at home as much as possible.

It's important to try to keep active, eat healthy and take care of your wellbeing. We’ve published these articles which include advice to help support you.

We're here for you

Whether you’re self-isolating at home, supporting loved ones or caring for those in the community, we’ll continue to stand by, support and speak up for people living with arthritis.

Call our free Helpline on 0800 5200 520, or email helpline@versusarthritis.org (Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm), talk to COVA, our COVID-19 virtual assistant, 24/7, or connect with others on our online community.

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