There are very few people who cannot get the coronavirus vaccine.
You should not get the coronavirus vaccine if you've had a confirmed anaphylactic reaction to:
- any of the ingredients in the vaccine
- a previous dose of the vaccine
The coronavirus vaccine is suitable for people with disorders of the immune system.
People with underlying health conditions
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommended that the vaccine was offered first to those at highest risk of getting coronavirus and of suffering serious complications if they get coronavirus. Health conditions that put people aged 16 years and over at higher risk include:
If you're taking medication
You’ll be asked some questions at your vaccination appointment to make sure that there are no reasons for you not to have the vaccine.
You'll also have an opportunity to ask any questions or discuss concerns you may have.
People with bleeding disorders or taking medication to thin their blood or reduce bleeding
People taking medication to thin the blood, such as warfarin, can safely receive the coronavirus vaccine as long as their treatment is stable.
You should let the person giving you the vaccine know what medication you are on.
Stable means you will have been taking the same dose for a while and if you are on warfarin, your:
- INR checks are up to date
- your latest INR level was in the right range
People with bleeding disorders should consult their specialist or their individual care plan for advice on vaccination.
Cancer treatment and the vaccine
It is recommended that all patients with cancer, including all those receiving systemic anti-cancer therapy (which includes cytotoxics, immunotherapy and targeted therapies), radiotherapy or steroids, should consider getting the coronavirus vaccine.
The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consider both the Pfizer BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna coronavirus vaccines to be safe for patients with suppressed immune systems.
Immunosuppression may however reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
Patients should not assume they are immune after receiving the vaccine, and strictly adhere to measures to reduce exposure to the virus.
This same advice is given to everyone receiving the vaccine.
If you’re about to receive planned immunosuppressive therapy, your doctor may advise you to get the vaccine before starting therapy (ideally at least two weeks before), when your immune system is better able to respond.
Where possible, it is preferable for the 2 doses to be given before starting immunosuppression treatment. For this group only, it is recommended that the second dose is given either 3 or 4 weeks after the first dose, depending on the vaccine given to provide maximum benefit.