Asthma affects 5.4 million people in the UK, and someone has a potentially life-threatening asthma attack every 10 seconds. Asthma is a respiratory condition and therefore many sufferers are concerned about the impact on their health if they become infected with the coronavirus. Now the Covid vaccine has been given to the 15 million most vulnerable population in Britain, and some of the asthma sufferers are in line. But what exactly is severe asthma?
People under whom asthma is controlled will not have priority for the Covid vaccine to the Government.
The introduction of the vaccine in England has now entered the second phase with more than 15 million receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The first priority groups, including those aged 70 and over, are clinically extremely vulnerable and health and social workers are now called upon to receive the first dose of the vaccine.
Letters will now be sent to those aged 65 and over, as well as to those aged 16 to 65, inviting them to receive the first dose of their vaccine.
READ MORE: Pain Warning: Ibuprofen may worsen asthma
This means that about 5.2 million people with asthma will not be called for the vaccine yet.
Asthma sufferers will not be on the list ahead of their peers unless they are formally protecting, taking oral steroids regularly, or have ever had an emergency hospital admission.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHSC) said it would follow independent advice that the immediate priority should be “prevention of death and protection of health and medical staff, with age being considered the biggest factor determining mortality.”
A DHSC spokesman said: “This priority covers almost all preventable Covid-19 deaths.”
The NHS believes that people with non-severe asthma have an increased risk of coronavirus, but do not die from the virus.
Asthma is associated with an increased risk of long-term Covid disease.
Long Covid includes a number of symptoms that people can experience weeks and months after the initial infection hits.
Anyone with a condition that requires a steroid inhaler or pill will be offered a free annual flu shot, which will lead some people to question why they are treated differently when it comes to Covid.
Asthma sufferers will be vaccinated in the sixth priority group, after the age of 65, and first-line staff, if:
- They received a letter advising them to protect themselves
- They have ever had an emergency admission due to asthma
- They had three oral prescriptions for steroids over three months.
- Use the Asthma Control Test (ACT) here to see how much your asthma affects you each day.
- A low score may mean that you need extra help in managing your asthma and will therefore be more likely to be called to get the vaccine faster.