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03 February 2021

Psoriasis and COVID-19 vaccine priority groups

Clarification on first phase priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination.

Recently we have received a number of queries about whether having a diagnosis of psoriasis puts an individual in priority group 6 (Adults aged 16 to 65 years in at at-risk group) for COVID-19 vaccination. Publications in December 2020 from Public Health England including posters and leaflets, listed psoriasis as one of the conditions that did put an individual into an ‘at-risk’ group. However, this was inconsistent with information which had been given to people with psoriasis since the beginning of the pandemic. As such, we contacted Public Health England for clarification.

On 27th January 2021, Public Health England clarified that people with psoriasis will only fall into priority group 6 (Adults aged 16 to 65 years in at at-risk group) for COVID-19 vaccination if they are taking a long term immunosuppressive treatment (i.e. a systemic or biologic medication). People who have a diagnosis of psoriasis but are not taking an immunosuppressive treatment and do not have any other conditions which would put them at higher risk, will not fall into this group and will be contacted about receiving their vaccination based on the same factors as the general population.

This update is in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The Greenbook (the guide that doctors use when deciding who needs a vaccine and when) has been updated accordingly – please see the section on ‘immunosuppression’ - page 10 of the Greenbook chapter 14a.

To confirm this, Public Health England has now published a new version of the vaccination priority groups poster with updated wording regarding people with psoriasis to reflect this clarification. This poster is dated 27th January 2021. Please refer to the details on this poster ahead of any other literature you may have received which was published before this date.

If you are in the 'clinically extremely vulnerable' group and have been shielding, due to the combination of immunosuppressive or biologic medicines you receive for your psoriasis, or because you have a medical condition on this list, you will fall into priority group 4 for COVID-19 vaccination. If you are in this group, you may already have been invited to receive the vaccine.

As a reminder, whichever priority group you fall into, the NHS will contact you directly when it is your turn to be offered the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccine before then. Letters are being sent out every week – you may not receive your letter straight away.

If you have any further questions about psoriasis and COVID-19 vaccination, please contact our helpline.

For more information relating to COVID-19 and psoriasis, please visit our COVID-19 information hub.

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