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Vaccine Team Q&A: Should I get the vaccine if I have an autoimmune disease?

The NBC15 Vaccine Team is getting answers to your questions about auto-immune diseases and the vaccine.
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 10:57 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 5:45 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The NBC15 Vaccine Team is getting answers to your questions about autoimmune diseases and the vaccine.

Answer: Yes.

Health experts agree that those who have autoimmune diseases should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Matt Anderson, the Senior Medical Director of Primary Care at UW Health, says people who are immune-compromised are at higher risk for having severe complications for COVID-19.

Dr. Alison Schwartz, the SSM Health Associate Medical Director of Infectious Diseases, says she’s encouraging these patients to be vaccinated.

“Because of the treatment that they are on for their autoimmune disease, they may be in fact at higher risk for severe illness,” said Schwartz.

Answer: No.

Dr. Matt Anderson, the Senior Medical Director of Primary Care at UW Health, said that’s not true.

“I think we would consider them similar to the general population,” said Dr. Anderson.

He says individuals on an immune suppressant should check in with their health care provider to see if those medications may have an impact to their vaccine response or cause any side effects.

Dr. Schwartz says those who are immuno-compromised may have fewer side effects.

“They may not amount as a robust of an immune response,” said Dr. Schwartz. “But that does not mean that they should not be vaccinated, there is still some level of protection offered.”

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