Who After Speaking to Their Rheumatologist, Has Been Advised To Shield Again


After having my rheumatology appointment on the phone last week, I have been advised to shield again. I have done it before, and will do it again because it is safer. Scotland is in lockdown again. Glasgow where I live has very high cases of Covid, and high death numbers.

I Am curious if anyone is doing this?

Everyone keep well and stay safe.



  • BettyMac
    BettyMac Member Posts: 202

    Hard lockdown here in Hampshire, as in the rest of England.

    I’m still very much shielding. I seem to get a letter every week from DH&SC, reminding me that I’m clinically extremely vulnerable.

    My husband also gets these letters, though he’s CEV for reasons other than arthritis.

    We count ourselves as extremely lucky that all we’re really suffering from at the moment is boredom - and not being able to see the grandchildren.

    As McMitty says, stay safe everyone. Try not to take risks - and ask for help if you need it.

  • MrRee
    MrRee Member Posts: 3

    Matt Hancock has written to me about 4 times telling me to shield, including this time.

    Fed up with it all, want my jab!

  • mcmitty71
    mcmitty71 Member Posts: 11

    Things in Scotland are different. Was told to shield before by the Scottish government, but they are saying nothing about it just now.

    I'm on Simponi and Methotrexate. We are in lockdown again

  • Donna1971
    Donna1971 Member Posts: 1

    Yes..emails, texts and letters from Boris during all 3 lockdowns. I'm 49, On methotrexate and sulphasalzine for RA...got covid in September as soon as kids went back to school. Not pleasant, but wasnt hospitalised. Eagerly awaiting the vaccine.....I think!

  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 680
    edited 18. Jan 2021, 18:25

    Hi @Donna1971 and welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    I see that you have RA and unfortunately had covid last September. Glad to hear that you came through it ok.

    Great that you’ve got involved in a forum dialogue already.

    Just in case you haven’t already visited our website, there’s lots of information on RA that you may of interest starting here:

    I hope you find joining the forum rewarding.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Cawley101
    Cawley101 Member Posts: 2


    This is a first for me, I’m after some help or advice as where to go on shielding I’m currently on Tofacitinib and Pregabalin as well as the other stuff, I have RA with secondary Fibromyalgia.

    I had a letter to shield during the first lock down telling me to shield and have had nothing after that, I was told that if I had the initial letter then I didn’t need another one.

    Fast forward to this year. After chasing down my vaccination with my GP they arranged it for last Friday, within a few hours of them booking my appointment I received an email from the Coronavirus support team telling me that I’m no longer classed as Clinically extremely vulnerable. I spoke with my GP they advised me to speak with my Rheumatologist which I’ve been trying to since last week (they had open phone lines for 2hrs only)

    I spoke with my GP surgery again today and they have now told me that I’m no longer classed as a vulnerable person and not to shield but to follow the normal guidelines. I’m apparently a level 9 and I shouldn’t even of had my vaccination yet as I’m not eligible. 😢

    Has anyone else had this problem, I’m still going to try and get in touch with my Rheumatology team. I’m sorry if I’ve waffled on, but I’m sat here totally gob smacked and wanting to cry.

    Thank you for taking the time to read x

  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Greetings, @Cawley101

    You are getting confused as to shielding after apparently being reclassified as no longer vulnerable and where this leaves you with vaccination.

    This link is to our advice on Covid-19 matters

    You may also find it helpful to talk to our help line team


    God luck and let the forum know how you get on.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,628

    Hi @Cawley101

    I can totally understand why you are feeling so tearful I would feel suddenly totally abandoned having been shielding since the beginning of this pandemic.

    However many people on here have 'shielded' anyway even if they weren't classed as Clinically extremely Vulnerable.

    COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    You are right to contact your rheumatology team and if they think your Tofacitinib together with your Rheumatoid Arthritis means you are in fact in level 6 now.

    Do please ring the helpline Tom had added the number above - talking to someone can really help.

    Best wishes and do let us know how you get on.


  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,423

    Hi @Cawley101

    I get it. When this pandemic started We were told who would be shielding which would have included me having inflammatory arthritis, COPD and a few other bits. I was actually really upset when they 'downgraded' me feeling really abandoned and couldn't get an online shop for weeks and weeks. Luckily family got food so all was well.

    In spite of the GOVT's labelling I felt much safer shielding anyway and that is exactly what I have done since then.

    I had my 1st Vaccine this week being in category 6 where I think you probably are too.

    On the subject of ringing the helplines. If the upset feeling is still with you I really would ring them. I did when I first got the Inflammatory diagnosis and just bawled and bawled. They waited until I could speak and made me feel so so so much better.

    ((())) for you and please don't feel you aren't important because you are.

  • Cawley101
    Cawley101 Member Posts: 2

    Can I firstly say a big Thank you, I've read your lovely replies and I'm sat with tears feeling much better.

    Update on my first post, I finally got through to my Rheumatologyteam and they lady was lovely she put me at ease and told me that I was and should be on the Extremely Critcally vulnerable but it's GPs who put people on and off the lists. I felt so much better after knowing for sure. I rang the GP and they then looked into it and when they got back to me they told me it was a computer error and that I had be allocated the wrong code. So in the voice of Little Britain “the computer says no” but they have now adjusted it to say “yes”

    I feel so much better for knowing for sure, and thank you again for all your kind words - and sorry for waffling on again xx

  • Kazza52
    Kazza52 Member Posts: 74

    Hi everyone,

    I have had my first Pfizer jab (waiting for the second) and am shielding but does anyone know whether shielding will be extended after the 31st March in England? When will we be updated as to whether or not to carry on shielding?🐶

    Stay safe everyone,

    Kazza x

  • scotleag
    scotleag Member Posts: 84

    The letter giving the Mar 31st date says they will write to us "again in mid-March with further advice" which suggests round about now though these letters often arrive up to two weeks after the date on them.

    I doubt very much they'll suggest shielding to continue as the vast majority of shielders will have had at least one vaccine dose by now. Much more likely to be similar to last summer when shielding was 'paused,' i.e. good hygiene, masks, social distancing, stay local, don't make any unnecessary trips out etc.

  • trace59
    trace59 Member Posts: 2

    We have been told to end shielding 1st April but it worries me for some CEV Ra autoimmune patients etc even after a Vaccine they do not know how much or if it has worked at all and if you are on certain drugs eg Methatrexate if we gave any protection this us worrying I don't see why they can't give us at least antibody blood tests to check.

  • Tom
    Tom Member Posts: 522

    Welcome to the forum @trace59

    I see that you have concerns about the interaction between you Covid-19 vaccination and your condition. It is indeed a concerning time, but I feel that I cannot do better than rely on the advice that is available from reputable sources.

    This is a link to Versus Arthritis website on this subject:

    I hope you find the information to enable you to rest easy. Let us know how you get on.