People with an Increased Risk of getting the COVID-19

The risk groups for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are¹: (This group includes those groups of citizens who are advised to be vaccinated primarily because of the high risk of severe COVID-19 disease2). 

1.    Residents and employees of social protection institutions for the elderly, employees and beneficiaries of other social protection institutions
2.    Healthcare professionals: doctors, intermediate medical workers, junior medical workers
3.    Population aged 65 and older beginning with those aged 80 and over
Older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. More than 80% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over 65, and more than 95% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people older than 45³. 
4.    Persons with chronic diseases in the 16-64 age group
5.    Lecturers, teachers
7.    Military
8.    Justice system workers, detainees, and convicts
9.    Public transport employees 
10.    Civil servants ²

People with disabilities are more likely than those without disabilities to have chronic health conditions, live in a congregate setting, and face more barriers to healthcare. Studies have shown that some people with certain disabilities are more likely to get COVID-19 and have worse outcomes³.

If you have a medical condition, speak with your healthcare provider about steps you can take to manage your health and risks³. Preventive measures for COVID-19 (including vaccination, wearing a mask, and social distancing) are important especially if you are older or have multiple or severe health conditions. 


Health conditions, that may lead to severe developments 

The list below does not include all potential medical conditions that could make you more likely to get severely ill. Rare medical conditions may not be included below. However, a person with a condition that is not listed may still be in more danger from COVID-19 than persons of similar age who do not have the condition and should talk with their healthcare provider. 

Chronic lung diseases

  • These diseases may include:
    •    Asthma, if it’s moderate to severe
    •    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema and chronic bronchitis
    •    Having damaged or scarred lung tissue such as interstitial lung disease (including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis)
    •    Cystic fibrosis, with or without lung or other solid organ transplant
    •    Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)³.

Heart conditions

Having heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies, and possibly high blood pressure (hypertension) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19³. 

Chronic kidney disease

Having chronic kidney disease of any stage can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19³.  

Liver disease

Having chronic liver diseases, such as chronic hepatitis, chronic liver failure, alcohol-related liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and especially cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-193

Chronic nervous system disorders

Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), cerebral palsy 

Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)

Many conditions and treatments can cause a person to be immunocompromised or have a weakened immune system. Primary immunodeficiency is caused by genetic defects that can be inherited. Prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medicines can lead to secondary or acquired immunodeficiency.  


Treatments for many types of cancer can weaken your body’s ability to fight off disease.  At this time, based on available studies, having a history of cancer may increase your risk. 

Overweight and obesity 

Overweight (defined as a body mass index (BMI) > 25 kg/m2 but < 30 kg/m2), obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2 but < 40 kg/m2), or severe obesity (BMI of ≥40 kg/m2), can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. The risk of severe COVID-19 illness increases sharply with elevated BMI.³ 


Pregnant and recently pregnant people (for at least 42 days following the end of pregnancy) are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. 

Sickle cell disease or thalassemia 

Having hemoglobin blood disorders like sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.  

Smoking, current or former

If you currently smoke, quit. If you used to smoke, don’t start again. If you’ve never smoked, don’t start.  

Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant

Having had a solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, which includes bone marrow transplants, can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.  

Substance use disorders 

Having a substance use disorder (such as alcohol, opioid, or cocaine use disorder) can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Diabetes (type 1 or type 2) 
Down syndrome
HIV infection

Systemic autoimmune diseases

Dementia or other neurological conditions

Information on Children and Teens

While children have been less affected by COVID-19 compared with adults, children can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and some children develop severe illness. Children with underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness compared to children without underlying medical conditions. Current evidence on which underlying medical conditions in children are associated with increased risk is limited. Current evidence suggests that children with medical complexity, genetic, neurologic, metabolic conditions, or congenital heart disease can be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Similar to adults, children with obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or immunosuppression can also be at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-193.

References list

1. Risk Groups for COVID-19 vaccinations. Annex, 436 Decree of Health Minister, February 15, 2021 436  

2 Rules for organizing work in public administration and local self-government bodies, Annex 2, Commandants decision N 63, May 3, 2020 

3 Certain Medical Conditions and Risk for Severe COVID-19 Illness | CDC. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2021