Is a COVID vaccine safe if I have a suppressed immune system?


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85 comments

  1. deb fowler

    I really appreciated your article. It was written to be understandable and supportive of the public, Thank you

  2. Pat Hobday

    I have Limited Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis, Complex CTD, Sjogren’s and hypothyroidism and possibly ‘overlap’ Lupus . I have had one triple depo-medrone jab and regularly take hydroxychloroquine.

    My ‘immune’ system is already super-hyper and trying to rush about attacking major organs.

    As I understand it, Covid would exacerbate this, overload a compromised system and probably see me off.

    How would any of these vaccines help me and the many others like me?

    Honestly cannot work out in my head whether the vaccine would cause my already over-active immune system to crash, or perhaps more pertinently, why it wouldn’t?

    • JG

      Hi Pat. I have chronic idiopathic Urticaria/ Angeodema. Also underactive thyroid. Also type 2 diabetes which is under control by diet. I had the 3 in 1 vaccine for 3 different flu strains about 2008. This is when i developed a very overactive immune condition. I react to a lot of medications e.g ibuprofen..which i never reacted to before. I carry two epipens, and have prednisolone ready to take should i require in an emergency and i take daily certirizine. My reactions very from being covered in welts and wheels to angeodema of the face etc so i occasionally end up in accident and emergency to stop anyphalatic shock. So i don’t know if the vaccine will make my condition go into overdrive..i probably won’t show symptoms of Covid19 but my body will go into fight or flight. I know someone who caught Covid19 and also displayed urticaria from head to foot for two weeks. Apparently this is a 4th symptom of Covid19. Hope you stay well. Jg.

  3. Ken Adams

    I would like to volunteer if you are looking for people

  4. Kate

    Like Pat,I am immune suppressed. My overactive immune system causes my body to attack cartilage. Will these vaccines cause a flare of my disease?

    • Kathleen may

      Very informative.when the immune system is very low,they informed myself,that I have to try and build it back up.well hopefully I have done that,but will not know until I see the consultant.

  5. Carolyn

    In short, will the vaccine be safe for me? Will one be better for me than another? I have Undifferentiated Connective Tissue disease. Because of an overactive immune system, I am taking hydroxychloroquine which reduces my immune response.

    • Janice

      I have the same condition as you and would like to know.

  6. Sally Hynes

    I feel much better after reading your article, thanks for all the valuable information.
    I’m surprised this isn’t being discussed more openly and
    educating people who are immune compromised…
    hoping I can obtain the AstraZeneca vaccine!!

    • Lyn Wright

      I have diabetes hashimoto’s thyroiditis autoimmune hepatitis if the liver cirrhosis of the liver and addisons disease on steroids do you think I should have the covid vaccine very concerned not sure what to do for that best anybody who reads this if you have any medical a knowledge ot going through something similar please let me know thankyou

      • C Her

        I also have Addison’s disease
        (immune compromised/steroid dependent)
        I wonder if auto immune people like us will have a bad reaction due to these vaccines being made to cause immune response.
        Our bodies attack healthy cells rather than foreign so will being vaccinated cause our bodies to do more damage to itself?

        • Maggie

          I have Addison’s disease too…my doctor and I have been discussing this very issue you wrote about…very concerning

          • Elvira morgan

            I to have Addison’s disease take 30 grams steroids per day also have autoimmune hepatitis which I take medication for. Nervous about taking COVID jab in case I have a reaction do I speak to my GP about my concerns Elvira

      • Maggie

        I too have Addison’s disease. I’m secondary, I don’t require the blood pressure medication. I take 40 mg of Hydrocortisone in divided doses. I’m concerned about taking the vaccine too.

  7. Christine Klinger

    Thanks for this information but would the vaccine be helpful, and even recommended, for my husband, who is a 67-year-old double lung transplant recipient – who now has healthy lungs but still has his underlying autoimmune disorder – systemic scleroderma. He takes tons of meds to suppress the autoimmune causing rejection. So would the disease reject the vaccine or would his drugs be sufficient to suppress the rejection?

  8. Nicola Hemingway

    My immune system over reacts to what it has decided are toxic . It could be wheat, sugar etc , would this vaccine cause more over reactions that lead to inflammation and pain in the body ?

    • Joy

      I have the exact medical history.
      My double lung transplant was done a year ago
      I am due for the Corona vaccine tomorrow
      What should I do? Take the vaccine or not?

  9. Jyl hall

    Excellent information. I feel less apprehensive .
    Thankyou,
    Jyl hall

    • Sandra Swales

      I am in remission for automune heamatolatic anemia I had blood transfusions prednisone and 2 rounds of ritixamub before my amune system stopped attacking my own body I am worried having covid vacine my start it all flaring up again

  10. Cecilia Scott

    I have multiple sclerosis and take the medication called Gilenya. Would it be safe for me to take the covid vaccine?

    • Chris

      I am Gilenya as well, and I am also a type one Diabetic. Wish I could find the answer to this question. please let me know if you hear anything.
      Chris

    • Paula Corley

      I have MS as well. I take tecfidera which suppresses my immune system to nearly nothing. So my MS, basically my white blood cells, will stop destroying my nerve coverings. Without a 2x daily dose of doxycycline I would catch every bug going around. Because my white blood cell count is kept so low, by tecfidera, to protect my nerves. So how would my body even make antibodies after any covid vaccine. I’m beginning to think I will need to stop my tecfidera a few months so I can get a covid vaccine and my immune system will not be so suppressed to allow my body to create antibodies to covid after getting the vaccine
      I do not think anyone knows if we will all wind up being guinea pigs

  11. Dayle Jones

    I have Addison’s disease and have been told to avoid certain vaccines. Especially shingles why Covid?

    • Paula Corley

      You have been told to not get the shingles vaccine because the shingles vaccine is made using a live virus component.
      It’s not safe for you to take any live virus vaccines. There’s a small chance you could actually get shingles from a shingles vaccine.
      But none of the covid vaccines use live virus technology.
      Frankly I don’t know why any vaccine would run the risk of using a live virus anyway. Except live virus vaccines aren’t usually a problem for people with normal immune systems.

    • Maggie

      The Shingles vaccine is a “live” vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is not a “live” vaccine. Look at Pfizer and the CDC. Then look up Shingle vaccine. Or simply ask is the Shingle vaccine live? Then go to the National Addison’s Disease Foundation and read the part about recieving “live” vaccines.. it’s a huge NO NO for Addison’s disease patients.

    • Sharon Ridgway

      Shingles is a live virus covid 19 isn’t. It is a manufactured virus. I hope this helps. I too was wondering about taking the shot. I take cellcept high dose, Benlysta infusion every 4 weeks. Very low white cell count. Ihave decided to take the shot after reading the article. But not sure how much good it will really do for me.

  12. Joanne

    I have lyme disease. It could cause me to get worse sick

  13. Barbara Kearney

    I have inflammatory bowel disease full colon gone i also have bronchiectasis is it safe for me to take the vaccine I take antibiotics everyday my last steriod was in July I hoping I can get it i would appreciate any feedback thks

  14. Bruce McNab

    I too am pharmacologically immunosuppressed to reign in my auto-immune kidney disease. I fully support vaccination (with a safe vaccine), and I accept that my immune response to any vaccine may be less than optimal. Re. mRNA-based vaccines, I can accept that they may well produce a strong B and T cell immunity (good), BUT I am nervous about what happens to the mRNA after its done its job (to stimulate Corona antigen production, which in turn stimulates antibody and cellular immunity against that corona antigen)… THEN what does that mRNA or where does it go? Is there anyway it can self-replicate in my cellular mitochondria or like retro-viruses can it use reverse-transcriptase to somehow work its way into my cellular genome? If it continues to produce corona antigens protruding from MY cells (to which being vaccinated I have built an immune response)… Is there not a potential for people to develop a type of vaccine initiated auto-immune disease?
    While current regulatory hurtles for vaccine development are great at ensuring vaccines work, I’m not sure we have enough longterm data on mRNA based vaccines to know for certain such longterm autoimmune syndromes do not arise. Please provide evidence to re-assure me that the vaccine mRNA really does degrade quickly after it has done its job and does not hang around or self replicate to continue producing antigen for ever on the surface of my own cells and potential autoimmune disease ?

    • Robert Harris

      No expert here, but they say the mRNA is so fragile it will dissolve. It is because of this fragility that it is stored at extreme cold temps. Good luck scary times. I guess you and your Doctor have to weigh the risks of the Vaccine vs Covid 19 infection.

    • Maggie

      Thank you for your comment, I have a lot of things to ponder now about this vaccine. You’re extremely knowledgeable. Thank you.

  15. Dwayne Steimecke

    You did not actually answer the question of why with a suppressed immune system that I cannot actually have the vaccine

  16. Mike eagan

    My wife has non Hodgkin lymphoma but has never needed treatment in 28 years. Can she get the Covid vaccine?

  17. Alex

    Can you tell us where in the line up for receiving the vaccine are all immune suppressed people?
    Or will still be the age the prevailing reason for prioritizing ?

  18. Shan Zhang

    how effective and how safe is the Covid vaccine for people with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis ?

  19. Joan Trifone

    Would the vaccine trigger a flare of Wegener’s in a person who is 72 and receives Rituximab infusions every four months to keep the illness in remission?

    • Linda Bryson

      Would love to know the answer to your question!! My husband has the same disease & gets Rituximab treatments!???

  20. Nabil

    I have an autoimmune disorder, and I take immune suppressant drugs. Is it safe to take the covid19 vaccine without
    agitating my immune system and in turn worsen my symptoms . Thanks

    • Bg

      Survival rate for covid is 98%. Most have a few sniffles and fatigue like a bad cold or mild flu. I have seen patients who pick it up in hospital from a visitor or who already had it, they come in for a surgery or procedure and recover just fine. If you are not 80+ and in a nursing home, 98% of time you will be just fine in 5 to 10 days.

      On the other hand you could take a vaccine. You could be one of the first few humans to take an mRNA vaccine where we do not know the long term consequences. These vaccines could lead to ADE response (if you get covid after vaccination you could have a huge immune response leading to shock which could kill you), there is no 100% guarantee that the mRNa wont be permanently altered, there is no guarantee that the mrna or a protein it makes will not enter back into the nucleus and negatively affect your dna or cell structure. There is no evidence because this is yet unstudied. The risks to autoimmune response are high because the spike protein markers are common and these are the things the vax apparently targets. When you read the news you may hear phrases like “there is no reason to believe that covid vax causes…” this is not the same as saying “evidence from long term follow up shows that covid vax does not…” see the difference? Anyone taking this vax has the freedom to decide for themselves, but where normal drug and vax studies take 5 to 10 years to finish, by taking the vax you are essentially voluntarily signing up for Phase 3 of this trial. However, since the gov approved this on short notice, big pharma can wipe its hands and watch their phase 3 from the sidelines. If something goes wrong, they will just say “sorry, we didnt know but we did get approved so go blame the FDA”.

      With such a huge survival rate in majority of people, I am not sure that for me an experimental vax is what I want. Cases do not mean anything. We should be told high severities and deaths only.

      Please google the pfizer covid vaccine leafler released last week in the UK to see who should and should not try it.

      • LThoelke

        AWESOME friggin response! I’m with you, I’m NOT going to be a guinea pig!

  21. Lyle Johnston

    Thank you very much for your information. I have had immunotherapy for cancer and had to stop it because of an autoimmune reaction and I don’t know whether to get a vaccine or not, which one to get or wait for herd immunity.

  22. sybil sage

    I’m on a biologic because of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Would that put me in the group of those entitled to get the vaccine because of an autoimmune condition?

  23. Sheila white

    Yes I had a liver transplant and I have to take a drug to knock down my Immune system because my immune system attack my liver with this vaccine make my immune system re attacked my liver

  24. Faye blair

    should I take the vaccine if I have no spline a low immune system I’m very worry if I should take it or not how safe will it be for me

  25. ronald Olsen

    So as I understand you, we do not know if suppressed immune systems affect the efficacy of the vaccine?

  26. Dr. Joseph laviola

    I have high rheumatoid factor but seem to symptomatically in remission but now have fibromyalgia. Also my C-reactive protein is up. All other blood test are normal including echo on new heart valve and cholesterol and blood pressure is normal. I am 74 years old and a retired doctor. I feel the astrozenica vaccine would be safer for me and do you agree. Dr. Joseph laviola

    • Y

      People have a right to question this particular rushed novel mRNA vaccine. I would even be more open if organizations honestly said “this is an experimental vaccine at this time, probably safe for many, we dont know for sure, but those who want to can get it and will be monitored for any issues”. It is the blatant lies and hidding information and dishonesty about possible side effects that turns people off.

      Posts above have mentioned this but mRNA vax trials (this type of vax is being tested for years for cancer and rabies) have previously disclosed risks to autoimmunity and blood clotting.

      Did this miami doctor who died after getting a covid shot possibly develop a clot leading to stroke?? His wife attributes the death to the shot, stating he was in perfect health and symptoms started within a couple days of the shot.

      http://Www.local10.com/news/local/2021/01/07/did-miami-beach-doctor-56-die-from-receiving-covid-19-vaccine/%3foutputType=amp

  27. DrWho

    Nobody knows since there is no legitimate trial data. Phase 3 recruited some of its participants in Nov 2020, so less than 1 month of follow-up! Participant age is 18 to 55 years for majority.
    At this point Pfizer has said that the vaccine may lessen symptoms but does not prevent you from catching Covid or spreading it. So basically it is your choice if you want a novel mRNA vaccine (No in theory it does not enter the nucleus and affect DNA but any protein it codes can enter the nucleus and potentially affect DNA or cell structure) with unknow long term effects.

  28. Eloisa Litjens

    If the person suffer kidney disease pass protein via urine stage 3 kidney function 40 would it damage the kidney if vaccinated ? Because seems the vaccination for covid has potassium, sodium and protein? Is this correct or wrong?

    • Todd

      My cd4 count is less then 100 , what does that mean regarding the covid vaccine ?

  29. Carolyn Vega

    I appreciate your response. I have more hope that the innoculation will still help me with my poor immune system.

  30. Mark

    Hi good evening I have a extremely surpresed emune system due to the medication I am on as I have three different types of arthritis rumatiod ostio arthritis and the worst type phosaratic arthritis witch has unfortunately left me with two full knee replacements one left hip replacement and two wrists have been oprated on to have been told meny Moore joints will need to be done soon to I am on barcitanab biological tablets to help slow the on going attack of the arthritis can I still have the virus injection or not due to my emune system being extremely low looking forward to your kind word back meny thanks youres sincerely Mr m keeble

  31. Anita Clancy

    My question is not about the vaccine. There are 8 members in my family. My son has had tone tested3 times I am 80 and immune challenged (diabetes, osteo-arthritis and hypothyroid). I bought an infrared thermometer to test all of us so we can have aChristmas gathering. If someone has a temperature (88C) they will have to be tested. My daughter says that type of testing misses a lot of Covid cases. I have been isolated since the beginning of the pandemic as well as my daughter. She thinks a member may be a-symptomatic. I think if that were the case another member would have contacted Covid already. What is your opinion? Thanks

  32. Cathy Richardson

    You did not answer the question. What is the plan–to people who are not front line workers, but have immune system weaknesses–when can we expect a vaccine? What can we do to expedite, or facilitate answers to such questions? Can I have some guidance, please?

  33. Roberta Uran

    I was bed ridden for three days after getting the flu vaccine. My doctor suggested not to get the second shot. Will it be safe for me to get the covid 19 vaccine. I also have RA and a very low white blood count. Please respond rlu55@msn.com. Thank you.

  34. Melanie

    Hi, I have Hashimotos Disease, + am extremely worried about getting Covid Vaccine. Everything i`ve read about Auto immune diseases states that you shouldn`t take anything that wiill stimulate your immune system, as it may well make your condition considerably worse. I really don`t feel reassured by what i`m reading at all. Seriously thinking about not having the vaccine. Certainly not until it can be proved to be safe for me.

  35. Gary laderoute

    I am a kidney transplant patient
    Will I be able to get the vaccine
    And how will I be able to choose???
    The transplant clinic has no directive at this moment
    A little concerning

  36. Della R

    I appreciate your article and this is the first time I come here. I have Bullous Pemphigoid and have read and been told I cannot take the flu shot nor the vaccine. I m on 2 meds Prednisone and Doxycycine, please advice with more pros and cons if you can. Thank You.

  37. Anne jones

    What if you immunosuppressed would 1 vac be enough to give you enough immunity if you are a nurse

  38. Common Sense

    I have some serious questions about the mRNA vaccine.

    What happens if the new translated spike proteins (the spike protein or S protein is like the lock which attaches to the cell membrane and allows the virus to enter the cell) persist inside the cell? will this allow other viruses to more readily enter the cell? how long do these translated proteins “hang out” in the cell before destruction? what if someone catches COVID or another illness shortly after vaccination, would this not potentially worsen the disease? since the spike proteins are already at the gates and opening the access to the cell?

    There has been mRNA vaccine research in animals and also some human studies. I was able to come across several articles, an example is here, this was written in 2018 (so not that long before we become the first mass group of humans injected with mRNA), the article is great and references many future possibilities for this technology. However, as with benefits, all good research articles must present risks, and here is what the authors write just 2 years ago in a very well respected journal Nature:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nrd.2017.243

    “Potential safety concerns that are likely to be evaluated in future preclinical and clinical studies include local and systemic inflammation, the biodistribution and persistence of expressed immunogen, stimulation of auto-reactive antibodies and potential toxic effects of any non-native nucleotides and delivery system components. A possible concern could be that some mRNA-based vaccine platforms54,166 induce potent type I interferon responses, which have been associated not only with inflammation but also potentially with autoimmunity167,168. Thus, identification of individuals at an increased risk of autoimmune reactions before mRNA vaccination may allow reasonable precautions to be taken. Another potential safety issue could derive from the presence of extracellular RNA during mRNA vaccination. Extracellular naked RNA has been shown to increase the permeability of tightly packed endothelial cells and may thus contribute to oedema169. Another study showed that extracellular RNA promoted blood coagulation and pathological thrombus formation170. Safety will therefore need continued evaluation as different mRNA modalities and delivery systems are utilized for the first time in humans and are tested in larger patient populations.”

    How have these issues been rectified prior to mass injecting us with this novel mRNA vaccine?

  39. Asta Lynch

    If immune system in 78yr.old woman is overactive, having autoimmune disorders,(Lichten Sclerosis), Lichten Planus, Hashimoto, Seborrhea dermatitis, and Psoriasis, can she still take COVID-19vaccine, and what type is best for this condition and age.

  40. Eric Maymon

    I am not asking if the vaccine will work or that it will not give you covid. What I am asking is if it will cause my wife,s immune system to spike and cause serious damage that has already happened to her twice with an over active thyroid condition and recently with Giant Cell Artiritis. In the latter case her consultant has told her not to touch the Oxford one and insist on the Phizer one. Do you agree with this?

  41. BB

    The question is still not directly answered – If you have an Auto Immune desease is it safe to receive the vaccine?

    • AA

      It is unknown. This is the first time in history mRNA vaccine has been created so quickly and rushed to such a large number of people. Yes some people on facebook will tell you “it wasnt rushed, the government removed the red tape that slows down vaccine development”, sure BUT we still only have a few months of data on a very small population. What happens if vaccinated people catch covid? Will their system over react leadingnto cytokine storm? Will there be interactions with meds? I am sure pfizer did not include many if any people with lupus or cancer or arthritis in their study. Yes mRNA vax has been studied a long time for instance for rabies vaccine development. There are current trials in phase 1 ongoing for rabies. These groups are doing the due diligence to fully investigate these new vaccines. Research has raised some possible concerns such as blood clot formation and auto immune system over stimulation. We dont know how common these issues are because we do not have adequate data as of yet. The vax is your choice. You can research online and speak to your doctor. Ultimately you can decide for yourself if the risk of possible vaccine side effects outweighs the COVID risk, or vice versa.

  42. BB

    Also – Any advice for individuals with the MTHFR – methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase Gene disorder?

  43. Chrisey Evans

    So is it safe getting which vaccine, If your immune compromised??

  44. Robert A.

    Formaldehyde (formalin) is the only substance known to actually kill coronaviruses. Researchers confirm that a 10 percent formalin solution kills coronaviruses. The highly successful polio vaccine comprised actual polio virus material killed with formaldehyde. Because formaldehyde, in either liquid or gaseous form, is poisonous to humans, it is banned for use in sanitizers.

  45. Wendy

    I have sojerenes my white cells are high I’m on the way to lupus I take plaquinel I have bad Arthiritis. Can I take the vaccine for Covid-19

  46. Vicki Williams

    I have a low immune system. I have been worried about getting the vaccine. Will I get sick from it?

  47. Peter James

    Is the Pfizer vaccine safe if i have low platlette count? I’m 58 years old.

  48. Diane Page

    I have autoimmune disease: hypothyroidism & coeliac disease with resulting dermatitis herpetiformis (which causes painful itchy blisters on my body) for which I take Dapsone, & my system is attacking my organs: liver disease & chronic stage 3 kidney disease & and over 20 nodules on my internal stomach caused by my immune system. I am also asthmatic. I am 68 years of age am so worried about having this vaccine as I don’t know what it will do to me. There does not seem to be much info on the internet & people with autoimmune problems do not appear to have come forward for trials to give any answers (& I can’t blame them). I was due to have my gallbladder removed last April and this was put on hold & now my Consultant informs me that I will need the vaccine before I have a gastroscopy to remove a stone trapped in my bile duct and then the op to remove gallbladder. Really at a loss as to what to do; I am in constant pain so need the op as soon as is possible when they start doing ops again.

  49. Elvira morgan

    Will my conditions Addison’s disease and autoimmune hepatitis will this be checked out if COVID jab is safe

  50. Cynthia Reed

    If I have overacting autoimmune disease (Rheumatic fever as child right into Rheumatoid Arthritis as adult, along with Lupus, and Diabetes) should I take the vax (which raises immunity more)??? I’m guessing there is no way, I’d be moving at all? I can’t even take a Caltrate supplement, or I can’t move. My Calcium level is usually right at 10 or 10.2. If this vax raises up immunity system MORE, isn’t this counter to what I need – harmful?

  51. J.D. Cline

    I take metformin for diabetes and currently take prednisone (20mg daily). Is it safe for me to take the COVID vaccine?

  52. Solange Bianchi

    I suffer from auto immune retinopathy. I am on a courde of prednisole 50 mg reducing to 2.5 over a period of a month. I am 80 years old and wonder if I should be vaccinated when called or do I need to wait 3 months because of the steroids? Tks for your advice.

  53. Shirley Davidson

    I have lichen schlerosis, 6 years ago for no apparent reason all my lymph glad and nodes in my neck swelled up this lasted for weeks and I’m sure at first the doctors thought I had a cancer, but after three months it settled down. How do you think I would be with the vaccine I am 68

  54. Potter Jeannie (Iona)

    I am a 75 year old woman. I have level 3 kidney failure and Type ll diabetes, insulin dependent. I am also an active adult. I have read where the vaccine injection could affect my kidneys. I cannot afford that to happen. I am signed up to get the shot, but looking deeper into the vaccine I am now concerned that the shot has that particular side effect. I eat well, I exercise, I take care of my life. I do not do things without getting all information. My question is, where can I find the real truth about how this vaccine could truly affect me. Jeannie Potter, 425-830-8311. 2424 N Rose, Mesa Arizona 85213. Call or write ASAP

  55. Nora Richardson

    I have diabetes brought on by steroids I need to take for my kidney disease stage 3. And autoimmune disease. Im afraid to take the vaccine. I dont want to die or get sick from this. Is there any real hard core studies like people for me? Will I be safe getting the vaccine?

  56. Nora Richardson

    I have diabetes brought on by steroids I need to take for my kidney disease stage 3. And autoimmune disease. I have no immune system. Im afraid to take the vaccine. I dont want to die or get sick from this. Is there any real hard core studies like people for me? Will I be safe getting the vaccine?

  57. Craig walzer

    My name is. Craig walzer and I take Simpony 50ml a month for arthritis and methotrexate. Will moderns vaccine benefit me? Should I stop taking my arthritis med so my immune will be higher. Desperate for correct advice . Ty

  58. Joyce

    Should a healthy 81 year old get the vaccine. Will it cause more problems than good

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