CDC Issues New Vaccine Guidance for People With Underlying Conditions

A vial containing of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the COVID-19, is seen at a care home in Nicosia, Cyprus, Sunday. (Katia Christodoulou/Pool via Reuters)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday issued a new guidance stating that people with underlying health conditions can receive a coronavirus vaccine.

The guidance explains that “adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Thus, the CDC added that those vaccines that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.”

The CDC explained that people with weakened immune systems due to other illnesses or medication may also receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but they should be aware that limited safety data is available on the effects of the vaccines on these individuals.

The CDC also stated in its guidance that individuals with autoimmune conditions may take the vaccine, although there is no data currently available for the safety of the vaccine in this demographic.

Despite the start of distributions of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the CDC recommends that people who get vaccinated should continue to follow current coronavirus health and safety protocols, such as wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding crowds.

According to the CDC, nearly two million people have received their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine as of Saturday. Both the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech and the one from Moderna require two doses to be administered several weeks apart.

Final trial data on both vaccines showed them to have a roughly 95% efficacy rate at preventing COVID-19, although Moderna’s vaccine has an 86% efficacy rate for those over the age of 65.