Content and Editorial Director
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you and others around you from the sometimes-deadly virus. But are there people who shouldn’t get vaccinated? In some instances, yes. Here’s what we know now.
Can People With Allergies Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?
Yes, with two exceptions:
-People with a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any vaccine or injectable (intramuscular or intravenous) medication should consult with their health provider to assess risk prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
-People with a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine should NOT receive the vaccine.
Everyone else with severe allergic reactions to foods, oral medications, latex, pets, insects, and environmental triggers may get vaccinated.
Can Women Who Are Pregnant Or Breastfeeding Get Vaccinated?
Though the current research is somewhat limited, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine should not be withheld from pregnant or breastfeeding individuals. There are some factors to consider. Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, which could tip the scales in favor of getting vaccinated. And, for women who are breastfeeding, there is some evidence that maternal antibodies passed via breastmilk may provide protection for the infant.
What About People With Suppressed Immune Systems?
Specific efficacy and safety data are not yet available for people with immunosuppression due to medications or chronic illness. People with autoimmune conditions or who are immunocompromised are not excluded from getting the vaccine. However, those who are vaccinated should be counseled on the potential for reduced immune responses and the need to continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19. If you are immunocompromised or have an autoimmune disease, you and your doctor can decide together by weighing the benefits and risks.
Can Children Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?
Not yet. No vaccine can be widely given to children until it has been tested in them.
Should You Get the Vaccine Even if You’ve Already Had COVID-19?
Yes. It’s unclear how much the antibodies that develop in response to COVID-19 infection will protect you. Or, for how long. If these antibodies are in fact protective, it’s not known what antibody levels are needed to protect against reinfection. Therefore, even those who previously had COVID-19 can and should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
If You Were Recently Diagnosed With COVID-19 Should You Receive The Vaccine?
Yes, but you might have to wait. For dose #1 you can be vaccinated four weeks after onset of symptoms or a positive test (whichever is earlier). For dose #2 you may be vaccinated after you have completed your isolation period. Isolation is for 10 days or 10 days plus 24 hours with no fever and an improvement in symptoms.
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