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Find out whether you are eligible for COVID-19 treatments.

First published:
8 December 2021
Last updated:

NHS patients who are at greater risk from COVID-19 are eligible for COVID-19 treatment at home.

Vaccinations remain of greatest importance to protect those most vulnerable.

You can receive antiviral treatments as part of your standard care if you are at high risk of severe COVID-19.

COVID-19 treatment for people at high risk of severe COVID-19

People who are at high risk of becoming severely ill due to COVID-19 can received treatment at home. 

The highest risk group includes people who have: 

  • chromosomal disorders that affect the immune system, including Down’s syndrome
  • certain types of cancer, or have had a cancer removed in the last 12 months
  • had either radiotherapy or chemotherapy in the last 12 months
  • sickle cell disease
  • certain conditions affecting the blood or have received a haematological stem cell transplant
  • chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
  • severe liver disease
  • had an organ transplant 
  • certain autoimmune conditions or inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease who may be receiving certain medications
  • HIV or AIDS
  • a rare neurological condition (such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, motor neurone disease or myasthenia gravis)
  • an impaired immune system due to either a condition or certain medications 

If you are in the groups listed above, and you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for treatments. Treatments help manage your symptoms and reduce the risk of you becoming unwell due to COVID-19.

The COVID vaccine is very effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19. Many people are now at a much lower risk of severe disease. If you have a positive test result for COVID-19, you will be screened to see if you are eligible for treatment. 

What you need to do to access treatment

If you are in one of the groups listed above you should keep rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs) at home. 

Take a test as soon as you get symptoms of COVID-19. If your test is negative but your symptoms persist, you should take another test on the next day (day 2). If it’s still negative, test again on day 3. If your tests on day 2 and day 3 are negative, it’s unlikely you have COVID-19

Using a LFT

If you don’t have any LFTs at home, you can order them online (

You must report the result online or, by ringing 119. ‘Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh’

How you will be contacted if you are eligible for treatment

If you are eligible for treatment, you will usually be contacted within 48 hours of your test result being reported. You may be offered treatment via text message or telephone call. It is important to respond to the text message. 

Either reply the word: “ADVICE” - to speak to a member of staff to receive further information on potential treatment options available to you or “DECLINE” - to decline treatment. Once you reply, you will be contacted and asked more information to assess if treatment is right for you and which treatment is most appropriate.

What to do if you have not been contacted, but believe you are eligible for treatment

If you have symptoms and aren’t contacted within 48 hours of reporting a positive LFT result:

Call NHS 111 and state: 

  • you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • you have tested positive for COVID-19
  • you believe you are in the highest risk group and are eligible for treatment 

The call handler will offer a nurse assessment for your symptoms. They may refer you to the National Antiviral Service for an assessment to ensure you receive the most suitable treatment for you.

Which treatments are available? 

Antiviral treatments

  • Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) 3 tablets twice daily for 5 days. This dose may vary for certain individuals, so always check with a health care professional if you are unsure. 
  • Lagevrio (molnupiravir) 4 capsules twice daily for 5 days. 

Neutralising monoclonal antibody treatment

Xevudy (sotrovimab). A drip that is given through your arm (infusion) in a single appointment usually in a hospital.

When you are contacted, you will have a discussion regarding which treatment may be more suitable for you. Once you know what treatment you will receive, you will be advised how and where to get your treatment.

Further information 

Further information regarding COVID-19 treatments:

COVID-19 patient information for Wales 

National Antiviral Service website

Get help or advice whilst receiving treatment

Contact your GP surgery, specialist clinic or NHS111 if during your treatment you:

  • continue to feel unwell
  • feel like your symptoms are worsening 

What you should do if you have declined treatment, but now wish to be treated for COVID-19? 

If you now require COVID-19 treatment, call NHS 111 and they will be able to guide you appropriately.

If you live in a care home

If you live in a care home and have symptoms of COVID-19, the fastest way to get treatment (if you are eligible) is to use a lateral flow test and report the result online ( If you need help, a member of staff will be able to provide it.

At the same time, a member of staff should arrange for your health board to do a different type of test to see if you have another respiratory illness such as flu.