Stroke doesn’t qualify for vaccine in category 6?? - Headway


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Stroke doesn’t qualify for vaccine in category 6??



I was just wondering if anyone else has been told by their surgery their stroke doesn’t qualify for the vaccine as an underlying health condition?

I had a haemorrhagic stroke in my 20s and I’ve contacted my surgery who told me I didn’t qualify. Has this happened to anyone else or does anyone know where I can find more information about why??

20 Replies

Seems odd on the face of it. My understanding is that cardiovascular disease, of which stroke is a category, is on the clinically vulnerable list as defined by NHS England.

Perhaps you should go back to your GP surgery referencing NHS guidelines.

Take a look at:

Look under "chronic heart disease" where it says in brackets "(and vascular disease)"

And take a peek at this website too: which identifies stroke as cardiovascular disease.

Armed with the info, it might be worth asking your GP practice for specific reasons why they believe early vaccination does not apply to you, given that the NHS information referenced above indicates that those with cardiovascular disease (of which stroke is one category) are indeed eligible for early vaccination.

Ask them to explain their reasoning why they're saying your stroke doesn't qualify. Be mindful that they might be able to satisfactorily explain.

Whatever the outcome, I hope they provide more clarity for you.

ErinSAH in reply to bridgeit

Hi bridgeit,

Thanks so much for all the information you’ve posted and your reply.

I was under the impression I was in category 6, as I’d had a haemorrhagic stroke. My medical records state I had a subarachnoid brain haemorrhage which the surgery has said is not a stroke. Which I know it’s a type of stroke.

The criteria clearly states in category 6 that stroke is an underlying health condition.

I’m literally just flabbergasted...

bridgeit in reply to ErinSAH

Oh dear. This is very frustrating for you.

I found an NHS definition of a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SH):

There's a bit in bold letters where it clearly states that an SH is an uncommon type of stroke.

If you want to pursue this, the next step is probably an official complaint. Your GP surgery should have a complaints procedure and it might be worth getting hold of a copy of it.

Think about discussing your concerns with NHS England on 0300 311 22 33. They handle complaints about GPs and primary healthcare in England. NHS England can be emailed on

Whether you decide to pursue or not, don't allow your GP Surgery's astonishingly unhelpful tactics to stress you out. Stay calm, stay safe.

ErinSAH in reply to bridgeit

Thank you bridgeit so much for your advice, I think I have been left with no other alternative but to bring it further. Especially as the guidance for underlying health conditions so clearly states stroke and TIA, with no other conditions attached...

Thanks x

Hi ectopic1,

Thanks so much for sending that on, I was sure I came under category 6, but according to my surgery, I don’t.....

And today was the second time I’d argued with them that I did... their reason was that my brain haemorrhage wasn’t a stroke...

Iv checked online and everywhere to see if there is conditions or types of stroke that don’t come under group 6 and I can’t find any...

I’m literally flabbergasted, I don’t even know what to say...

Yes i queried with my husbands GP surgery, they got GP to look apparently, despite 11mths from TBI and still having mini strokes they state he doesnt meet strict government guidelines and stated theyve yet to complete priority 1 group. Yet GP phoning and booked my husbands hormone levels for this week instructed by Southmead as last time too low reasoning for poor fatigue aswell. Im feeling quite anxious and scared as any illness knocks him back with rehabilitation.

Yet ive had mine via work beginning of February, reason i called his surgery to check.

Hi New_beginning,

I know it’s a worrying time, I had my stroke a while ago now but I know how stressful it is and what a brick wall fatigue can be.

If your husband didn’t come under the previous priority groups, he should come under priority group 6.

Some have started to contact this group and even had vacations. You may need to contact your surgery to remind them, when they get to group 6.


Well to add to the compexity, ive recieved shielding letter to remain in place until 31st march. I am his full time carer, we have no informal/formal support networks, i have to work, im taking him for hormone bloods tomorrow at surgery, and his hospital app 9th march. I cant shield been doing this for 11mths, but will speak to nurse tomorrow about his vaccine and show them my letter hoping it helps getting his asap. Yet despite me catagorised clinically vulnerable high risk, my jab promoted via work due to frontline worker, i just see his health needs more of a priority. So will keep to what i have been doing, as only me to keep things going and roof over our heads.

I found the same from the point of view of pneumonia vaccine and shielding. I did look at the guidelines. In both cases they are classified as vascular disease.

But my surgery does not interpret these as extremely vulnerable. I think the problem is that these are guidelines, therefore are open to interpretation. I know a few people have commented that these are definitions, but they are written in a manner that leaves it open to interpretation.

I have argued the point, but to get beyond the rottweilers on reception has beaten me on this occasion. I do wonder how far beyond reception my queries got, but under current restrictions, I can't get a face to face consultation.

ErinSAH in reply to Pairofboots

Hi Pairofboots,

Thanks for your message.

I know what you mean, I think it’s partially a lottery of which gp you have and what they think.

I know I’m not in a vulnerable group, but I thought I should be in group 6 as I had a haemorrhagic stroke but again, open for interpretation...

Pairofboots in reply to ErinSAH

My GP said I didn't qualify for the flu shot, but looking at it in the chemist, they said I did qualify, and since then the GP has continued the annual vaccination.

Unfortunately chemists don't have power over pneumonia or covid vaccinations at the moment, but they will.

I think covid has given reception staff a new superpower of diagnostic skills, at least it is damn nye impossible to get beyond them unless you fake an illness. As a retired RN, I personally wouldn't be comfortable doing that, principles suck, but I am all for encouraging others to do whatever they need to get what they need.

Let me know if you if you make any progress Erin 🙂

ErinSAH in reply to Pairofboots

Haha 😂

You know, I think you’re right... it like the bouncer on the sort of the nightclub scenario....

It was the receptionist who said a brain haemorrhage wasn’t a stroke, when it really is, the wrong advice can just be harmful in so many ways.

But thanks so much for your messages, hopefully I can get a resolution on this and will let you know 😊

Your GP computer system should have automatically coded you as group 6. If it hasn't, it is because SAH has not been recognised as a cerebrovascular accident (stroke). This may an error in the code used or in the algorithm. The correct code can easily be added. Speak to the practice manager to facilitate this and liaise with the vaccine centre to get you on the list. This week a number of patients will have been added to the shielded list (group 4), based on their postcode , age, and co-morbidities. They will have been sent letters.

ErinSAH in reply to ABIfamily

Thanks ABIfamily, it’s just really frustrating.

It’s just such a clear cut scenario, I can’t even understand what’s happened, especially as it’s gone to the doctor as a note. She came back saying I didn’t have a stroke too, I mean come on...

But I’ll have to contact them again, third time lucky.... maybe...

ABIfamily in reply to ErinSAH

I am sorry to hear that. I can appreciate how frustrating and worrying it must be for you. I hope your practice can resolve this for you speedily. An email may be helpful. Fingers crossed it gets sorted out quickly.

ErinSAH in reply to ABIfamily

So do I, thank you ABIfamily for you messages of support 😊

Hi. Regarding trying to resolve this, you could search online for your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS.) They work to sort out out and will know exactly who to contact. They will contact the right people on your behalf. Best wishes. 🙂🌸

ErinSAH in reply to Marnie22

Thanks Marnie,

I have contacted the surgery again, so will see what they say but I know I’m in group 6, so may have to go further with it.

If so I’ll contact the PALS service you suggested. Thanks for your advice 😊

Marnie22 in reply to ErinSAH

Hope you get it sorted. 🙂🌸

ErinSAH in reply to Marnie22

Thanks 😊

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