Last updated 18/04/2024

Please see below generalised Covid-19 Government guidance. We regularly update the page in response to any further announcements or developments. For further information, please call our freephone helpline if you would like to chat to one of our advisers about your concerns - 0800 169 09 36


Latest information for patients

A Spring booster COVID-19 vaccine will be offered later in April 2024 to:

This Spring booster should be offered around 6 months after the last vaccine dose, with a minimum interval of 3 months between doses.

More information on operational flexibility will be provided in the COVID-19 chapter of the Green Book

COVID-19 Lateral Flow Tests
People who are eligible for COVID-19 treatments in England and Northern Ireland can collect free lateral flow tests from community pharmacies. This procedure has replaced the previous process of ordering tests online and calling 119. More information can be found via the following websites: England and Northern Ireland.

In Scotland and Wales you can order free lateral flow tests online from the following websites: Scotland and Wales.

COVID-19 symptoms
Find out more about the symptoms of COVID-19 in adults and children.

What to do if you get symptoms again

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and are eligible for treatment, take a lateral flow test as soon as possible to ensure you get prompt accessibility to be assessed for treatment.

For more information on how to look after yourself at home if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19 please visit here.

COVID-19 treatment information
How to get COVID-19 Treatment 
Local NHS organisations are responsible for arranging COVID-19 treatments. The way you get treatment will depend on where you live.

Your local integrated care board (ICB) can give you more information.

If you think you're in the highest risk group and need to access COVID-19 treatment, follow these steps to be considered for a referral.

1. Keep rapid lateral flow tests at home
If you're eligible for COVID-19 treatment, you should keep rapid lateral flow tests at home. 

You can pick up free rapid lateral flow test kits from a local pharmacy if you're eligible for COVID-19 treatment.

The pharmacy may ask you questions about your medical history to confirm you're eligible for free tests. If you have a copy of a letter or email sent to you by the NHS that says you're eligible for COVID-19 treatment, take this with you. A letter or email is not essential, but it will help the pharmacy to confirm you're eligible for free tests more easily.

Someone else can collect free tests on your behalf, for example, a friend, relative or carer. If you do not have  a friend, relative or carer who can collect your tests for you, you may be able to book a volunteer responder by calling 0808 196 3646. 

Anyone collecting free tests on your behalf needs to give the pharmacy your details, including:

  • full name
  • address
  • date of birth
  • NHS number (if available)
  • medical condition(s) to confirm your eligibility

They should also bring any copies of letters or emails that have been sent to you by the NHS about COVID-19 treatments. 

2. Take a rapid lateral flow test if you get symptoms 

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, take a rapid lateral flow test as soon as possible, even if your symptoms are mild. Only take a test if you have symptoms. 

You can also use tests you've paid for, for example, a test you've bought from a supermarket or pharmacy. 

3. If your test is positive, call your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist 

Call your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist as soon as possible if your test result is positive.

They'll decide if you need a referral for an assessment for COVID-19 treatment or may carry out the assessment themselves.

As part of the assessment, you may be asked what other medicines you take or receive, including any vitamins or minerals, so it's important to have a list of these ready.

If you're eligible for treatment, it's important to start the treatment as soon as you can. Treatments for COVID-19 need to be given quickly after your symptoms start to be effective.

If you're prescribed capsules or tablets, the medicine can be collected on your behalf by someone else, such as a friend or relative. You'll be advised where the medicine can be collected from/ Alternatively, the NHS may be able to arrange for the medicine to be delivered to you. 

If the treatment needs to be given as a drip in your arm (infusion), you'll usually get it at your local hospital or in a local health centre.

You'll get instructions on where to get the treatment and how to get there and back safely. 

4. If your test is negative, do a total of 3 tests over 3 days
If your test result is negative, but you still have symptoms of COVID-19, you need to do a total of 3 rapid lateral flow tests over 3 days.

For example, if you did your first test today, you should do a 2nd test tomorrow and a 3rd test the day after.

If any test result is positive, you can stop testing and call your GP surgery, NHS 111 or hospital specialist as soon as possible. 

Reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection

Please find below some supportive links for the people whose immune system means they are at higher risk:





We have put together some information to help you cope with stress and anxiety during these uncertain times.

Long Covid and the Covid Recovery Service 
The online service NHS Your Covid Recovery is for those who have had Covid and want to understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.

If you think you have Covid symptoms you can use the NHS 111 assessment

Further general information and daily updates can be found on the GOV.UK website and their living with COVID-19 page

Vaccination Webinar 7th February 2022 
NKF partnered with Kidney Care UK, Kidney Research UK, Kidney Wales, Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity and UK Kidney Association to deliver a webinar regarding the developments in our knowledge about the Covid vaccines and treatments. We were joined by Dr Andrew Frankel, Dr Rebecca Suckling, Professor Liz Lightstone and Professor Richard Haynes.

You can view the webinar here.

Vaccination webinar 29th June 2021
NKF partnered with Kidney Care UK, Kidney Research UK, Polycystic Kidney Disease Charity and UK Kidney Association to deliver a webinar regarding the developments in our knowledge about the Covid vaccines and how people with suppressed immune systems are responding, as well as a discussion about how to return to normal activities and cope with anxiety as restrictions ease. We were joined by four kidney doctors, Dr Rebecca Suckling from Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, Dr Andrew Frankel, Dr Steve McAdoo, and Dr Michelle Willicombe from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. 

You can view the webinar here.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) publish final draft guidance on COVID-19 treatments 
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have published their final draft guidance recommending the following COVID-19 treatments: Paxlovid, Xevudy (also called sotrovimab), RoActerma. We are pleased that the final draft guidance has made available a treatment which can be taken by kidney patients. To read more on the final draft guidance published please visit: 

Recommendations on reducing the risk of respiratory virus infections in haemodialysis settings and management of dialysis patients with symptoms of respiratory virus infections - (January 2023)
View document 

The NKF partnered with Kidney Research UK in 2021 to fund a study to discover how well COVID-19 vaccinations work in people who go to hospital for dialysis.

Information and guidance for
 renal professionals.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have approved three Covid-19 vaccinations. The first vaccine to be approved has been developed by Pfizer-BioNTech.

The second vaccine has been developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and roll-out started in the UK on Monday 4th January 2021.

 third vaccine has been produced by Moderna. The first dose was administered in Wales on 7th April 2021.


COVID-19 trials and studies 
Stravinsky Study
A new 2 year study, the Stratification of Clinically Vulnerable People for COVID-19 Risk Using Antibody Testing (STRAVINSKY Study) aims to establish if antibody testing can identify which individuals remains at greatest risk of severe COVID-19 infection after vaccinations funded by National Institute of Health and Care research (NIHR).

If you would like to know more about the study, details around recruitment and information on what is involved in taking part in the study, please visit the STRAVINSKY website.

 PANARAMIC Study is open to everyone with ongoing symptoms of COVID-19 and a positive PCR or Lateral Flow test, regardless of vaccination status.

The PROTECT-V study are enrolling patients at particularly high risk of COVID-19. The first drug to be tested to see if it might prevent the disease occurring is intranasal niclosamide. PROTECT-V will enrol patients with kidney or autoimmune diseases, including patients undergoing dialysis, kidney transplant recipients, and individuals with auto-immune conditions receiving immunosuppression.  These are vulnerable populations who are underrepresented in many existing clinical trials.

Melody Research Study is a large study aiming to assess UK-wide antibody responses following COVID-19 vaccination in the clinically vulnerable patient groups, and aims to include 12,000 adult transplant patients.