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Children no longer classed as clinically extremely vulnerable

sick boyChildren and young people under the age of 18 will no longer be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), the government has announced. 

Only "a very few individual" children may be given specific advice about the need to still take further precautions.

An update from the Department for Education confirmed that: "Clinical studies have shown that children and young people, including those originally considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), are at very low risk of serious illness if they catch the virus. The UK Clinical Review Panel has recommended that all children and young people under the age of 18 should no longer be considered CEV and should be removed from the Shielded Patient List, the national database of people considered clinically extremely vulnerable.

"All children and young people should continue to follow the same guidance as everyone else, which can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. For a very few individual children specific clinical advice may be given and this should continue to be followed."

All families of CEV children in England have been sent a letter from Professor Jennifer Harries, chief executive of he UK Health Security Agency, confirming that their children should follow the same guidance as everyone else.

Before shielding advice came to an end in April 2021, around 52,000 children under 18 were following the guidelines – although many families are thought to still be taking extra precautions and remaining at home.

The Department for Health and Social Care has produced an FAQs document on the changes, available here.