HIV positive people in the UK now elligible for COVID vaccinations – and to become available at HIV clinics

Simon Collins, HIV i-Base

This week NHS England expanded the priority to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to people who are moderately vulnerable – priority grooup 6 – which includes all HIV positive people. [1] 

The NHS has also expanded vaccination options for HIV positive people to now be able to receive COVID-19 vaccines at HIV treatment centres. Similar changes have taken place in Scotland and Wales.

This change was the results of lobbying by the British HIV Association and community organisations to overcome some of the limitations of working exclusively through GP services. [2, 3]

The most important of these were that although being HIV positive qualifies for priority group 6 to access the vaccine, many HIV positive people either do not have a GP, or for reasons of confidentiality, only access HIV care through their HIV centre.

HIV positive people who have not already received their first vaccine, or an NHS letter advising them to book, should contact their GP ti make an appointment, saying that you have a chronic medical condition that qualifies for group 6.


i-Base have heard of many cases where people have been missed and HIV positive people mentioning this inequity with a GP should enable access.

There may also be cases where HIV doctors need to contact the GP for HIV positive people in their care who are especially vulnerable and who have not yet been contacted.

Even though many GP surgeries say to wait for a letter, HIV positive people can contact their GP to proactivelty request a vaccine now that group 6 is being prioritised on the government website. [1] 

People who have not disclosed their HIV status to a GP, or who do not have a GP, should contact their HIV clinic. Access is still being arranged at HIV clinics and this should become easier over the next weeks.


  1. NHS England. Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine. (Accessed 24 February 2021).
  2. BHIVA, Important Covid risk and vaccine updates. (19 February 2021).
  3. THT. How we improved the COVID vaccine rollout for people living with HIV. (22 February).

Links to other websites are current at date of posting but not maintained.