CDC issues new guidelines urging Americans with underlying conditions to get COVID vaccine

Immunizations 'may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reactions.'

Updated: December 27, 2020 - 12:21pm

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans with underlying medical conditions to get the coronavirus vaccine, providing guidance on risks and side effects for a category of patients that have drawn much attention during the pandemic.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration “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 declared in new guidelines Saturday.

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

You can read the CDC guidelines here.

The advisory cautioned that there is limited safety data for certain categories of patients with conditions like HIV, weakened immune systems and autoimmune conditions that cause the body's immune system to attack healthy cells. But such patients should nonetheless take vaccine, the agency stated.

Other guidance included:

  • patients with past cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome in which the body attacks parts of its own nervous system may receive the vaccine doses. The guidance adds that following vaccination during clinical trials, there have been no instances of the syndrome. 
  • patients with past cases of Bell’s palsy — where muscle weakness occurs temporarily in the face — may also receive a vaccine.