Can immunocompromised people get covid vaccines?

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Covid vaccines came as a glimmer of hope amid the surging pandemic at the end of 2020. British officials became the first to approve the US-made Pfizer jab in December and the first to roll it out. Vaccine programmes have now started working through vulnerable and elderly, but not everyone in this group is eligible to receive one.

Can immunocompromised people get covid vaccines?

The first to benefit from the Government’s vaccine programme are the vulnerable, elderly and health workers.

Once they have received their vaccines, the programme will eventually move to individuals aged 16 to 64 with an underlying health condition.

Some of these associated conditions will compromise people’s immune systems, leaving them open to adverse effects from the jab.

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As such, some immunocompromised people cannot take the vaccine.

Those without a functional immune system will have to go without, according to experts.

Kate Bingham, chairwoman of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, explained to work, the jabs need a “functional immune system”.

But she added those who can’t take the jab could have other avenues to develop immunity in the future.

She spoke about the need to ensure everyone can attain immunity late last year.

Ms Bingham said: “It’s crucial that we leave no one behind as we move closer to finding both a vaccine and developing more treatments for COVID-19.

“We particularly need to ensure those cannot be given a vaccine, such as people who are immunocompromised, have alternatives available that will help protect them.”

Not every immunocompromised person will have to skip the vaccine, according to guidance from the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC).

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Some immunocompromised people will have an otherwise functional immune system, but have a condition or need to take medication which reduces its response.

Those taking treatment for cancer or with a disease which blunts immune system activity can take one, according to the CDC.

But the organisation said it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they want a vaccine.

The Pfizer trial enlisted immunocompromised volunteers with stable HIV infections to test their reactions.

The little information on this population makes it tricky to draw concise conclusions on the effects, however.

The only population the CDC recommends shouldn’t have the vaccine is people who have severe allergic reactions to vaccines.

Health officials in the UK have also warned people not to have the jab if they also have severe anaphylactic reactions to other allergens and carry an EpiPen.

Otherwise, experts have argued there are “very, very few cases that you could argue someone shouldn’t get it.”

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