People at higher risk of severe COVID-19

There are some groups of people who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Find information on how to protect yourself from COVID-19 if you are at higher risk of severe illness.

Holding hands with person unwell in hospital

Who is at higher risk from COVID-19?

People at higher risk of severe illness include:

  • People aged 70 years and older

  • People aged 50 or over with additional risk factors, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease (including moderate or severe asthma requiring inhaled steroids), neurological disease, severe chronic liver or kidney disease, active cancer or those who are not up to date with recommended vaccination

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 30 years and over with additional risk factors listed above

  • People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised of any age

  • People with significant or complex disability

  • Pregnant women

  • Children with complex chronic conditions.

If you live in a remote area and have reduced access to healthcare, or you are a resident in an aged care or disability facility, discuss your risk with your doctor. You may be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral treatment or additional supportive care.

Find advice about what to do if you're at higher risk.

Information for groups of people at higher risk

Senior's Card
People over 70
A doctor in a mask giving a man in a wheelchair, who is also wearing a mask, a vaccine.
People with disability
Pregnant women and new parents
Male and female elderly Aboriginal couple reading iPad in back yard
Aboriginal communities
Image of 4 seniors sitting around an outside table laughing

Steps to keep yourself safe

  1. Stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations.
  2. Take a PCR test if you have cold or flu symptoms, and stay home.
  3. Wear a mask in crowded, indoor places.
  4. Talk with your doctor if you're at higher risk of severe illness. You may be eligible for antivirals.

Find out more on protecting yourself from COVID-19.

Related COVID topics

You may be eligible for antivirals if you catch COVID-19. Speak to your doctor about whether antiviral medicines are suitable for you. 

If you are visiting a high-risk setting such as aged or disability facilities, take steps to ensure you don’t spread COVID-19. 

Treatments for COVID-19 are more effective if taken early in your illness. Get an early diagnosis using a PCR test at a testing clinic (or a RAT) to receive timely treatment.  

RATs are available for free to some members of the community. Find out whether you’re eligible and where to find them. 

Support with getting vaccinated

If you would like help with getting a vaccine, you can SMS ‘Hey EVA’ to 0481 611 382 

Get clear information about COVID-19 in our collection of Easy Read webpages. 

COVID-19 information services

COVID-19 enquiries

In-language support

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