CDC issues COVID-19 vaccine guidance for those with preexisting conditions

CDC announced new guidance on January 2 for individuals with underlying health conditions who will be receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

In the guidance, CDC said that individuals with certain preexisting health conditions are at an increased risk of severe illness if they contract the virus. According to the agency, these individuals can receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine if they “have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.” The guidance includes specific recommendations for the certain preexisting conditions, and CDC also stressed the importance of continuing to follow current guidelines for protection against the virus, including mask use and social distancing, even after vaccination.  

People with HIV or weakened immune systems due to other conditions may receive a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the guidance, though CDC noted that information about safety of the vaccines for individuals with weakened immune systems is not available yet. Clinical trials included those with HIV, but “safety data specific to this group are not yet available at this time,” the guidance states.  

“People with weakened immune systems should also be aware of the potential for reduced immune responses to the vaccine, as well as the need to continue following all current guidance to protect themselves against COVID-19,” CDC said. 

The guidance also addresses COVID-19 vaccination for individuals with autoimmune conditions, Guillain-Barré  syndrome, and Bell’s palsy. CDC estimates that nearly 2 million people have already received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.