Coronavirus (COVID-19) and arthritis21 February 2022
Updated: October 2022
What is Evusheld and why isn’t it available in the UK?
Evusheld is a treatment made by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which could potentially be helpful for people who don’t produce many antibodies after having the COVID-19 vaccines.
However, the UK government currently has no plans to make the treatment available until NICE has completed a full appraisal of the treatment (currently due in May 2023).
Versus Arthritis is calling on the government to fast-track a decision on Evusheld. Find out more about Evusheld.
Who can get free lateral flow tests?
Most people now have to pay for lateral flow tests. However, some people are still able to order free tests.
In England you can still order free lateral flow test kits if:
- you have a health condition that means you may be able to have antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
- you have been asked to get a test – for example, before going into hospital for an operation or other procedure
- you work in certain healthcare or adult social care settings.
In Wales, you can get free lateral flow tests if:
- a doctor or specialist has told you that you’re eligible for antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
- your GP or another healthcare professional has asked you to take a test.
In Scotland you can only get free tests if you’re eligible for antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19.
In Northern Ireland, you can order free lateral flow tests if:
- you may be eligible for antibody or antiviral treatments for COVID-19
- you work in health or social care and you have COVID-19 symptoms
- you have COVID-19 symptoms and provide close personal care for someone who is at higher risk if they catch COVID-19
- your GP or another healthcare professional asks you to take a test.
COVID-19 vaccines and arthritis
Read the most up-to-date answers to your questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Our vaccine content now includes more information about autumn booster jabs and vaccines for 5-11 year olds.
COVID-19 - risk factors
If you're being treated for an autoimmune condition it may increase your risk of getting coronavirus. Read the latest information about COVID-19 and the risk factors for people with arthritis.
Looking after yourself
It's important to try to take care of your wellbeing and to look after yourself. We’ve published these articles which include advice to help support you.
Treatments and appointments during COVID-19
Learn more about preparing for surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic, including what to expect before, on the day and after an operation.
We are here for you
We’ll continue to stand by, support and speak up for people living with arthritis.