Covid Vaccination and IBD Medications
People with chronic inflammatory conditions that take medication can have a somewhat reduced response to vaccines. These people still get an immune response to vaccines that is protective and useful to them, and also to the community.
With COVID-19, the current recommendation is for people with IBD, including those on all types of medication, to get the first and second vaccine when advised. It is not recommended to time the dose of infusions or tablets against vaccine timing, as current evidence is that this won’t make a big difference. What is clear is vaccinating as many people in Aotearoa New Zealand as quickly as possible will reduce the burden and severity of current and future outbreaks, including with more concerning COVID-19 variants such as Delta.
We are watching for updates about antibody testing and how this reflects protection and immunity, optimal timing of the second vaccine, and if a third or ‘booster’ vaccine could help.
In the meanwhile, please encourage your patients to get their shots, and please keep an eye on the Ministry of Health guidelines.
Ngā mihi nui
Dr Zoë Raos BHB MBChB FRACP
Dr Richard E. Stein, MD, FRACP, FACG, AGAF
Chairman, Crohn’s & Colitis NZ Charitable Trust