This guideline covers pharmacological VTE prophylaxis for patients being treated for COVID-19 pneumonia. It includes patients receiving treatment in hospital or in a community setting such as a ‘hospital at home’ service or COVID-19 ‘virtual ward’. The guideline applies to all patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, including those who have other conditions.

For guidance on VTE prophylaxis for hospital patients who do not have COVID-19 pneumonia, see the NICE guideline on venous thromboembolism in over 16s: reducing the risk of hospital-acquired deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

When using this guideline, follow the usual professional guidelines, standards and laws (including those on equalities, safeguarding, communication and mental capacity), as described in making decisions using NICE guidelines.

This guideline is for:

  • health and care practitioners
  • health and care staff involved in the treatment of patients with COVID‑19 pneumonia in hospital and community settings
  • commissioners

We developed this guideline using the interim process and methods for guidelines developed in response to health and social care emergencies. We will review and update the recommendations as the knowledge base develops.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian. 

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.


Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.