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.

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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

Steps to keep yourself safe

  1. Stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations.
  2. Talk with your doctor now if you're at higher risk of severe illness. You may need a PCR test and be eligible for antivirals.
  3. Stay home if you have cold or flu symptoms. Wear a mask if you need to leave home.
  4. Call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or use the online Service Finder if you can't contact your doctor.

Find out more on protecting yourself from COVID-19.

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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. 

Visiting people who are at high risk

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

What COVID-19 test should I get?

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever), contact your doctor for testing advice. Learn more about what COVID-19 test you should do.

Advice for people exposed

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, use this advice to understand your risk and what you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community.

Support with getting vaccinated

If you would like help with getting a vaccine, call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222

Easy Read facts on COVID-19

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

COVID-19 information services

COVID-19 enquiries

  • In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000)
  • Coronavirus Disability Information Helpline – 1800 643 787

In-language support

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