People with compromised immune systems or receiving treatment for cancer
Many people take medication that suppresses their immune system, especially for the treatment of cancer, severe asthma, autoimmune diseases, or following organ transplantation. Others have medical conditions that can affect the immune system, such as HIV infection or kidney failure.
These conditions put you at increased risk from COVID-19, and although you may not respond as strongly to the vaccine as someone with a fully functioning immune system, it is safe for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and it will provide some protection against COVID-19, particularly against severe, life-threatening disease.
It is important and safe for those receiving active treatment with immunosuppressive medications to have the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are severely immunocompromised, it is recommended to talk to your GP or specialist to discuss the optimal timing for vaccination before the vaccine appointment. Ideally, vaccination should be conducted prior to any planned immunosuppression.
It is also important for the people around you, in your household, to have the vaccine when it is offered to them to widen your protection.
For information about Cancer care and COVID-19 vaccine see Te Aho o Te Kahu (Cancer Control Agency) information here.
For information about COVID-19 vaccination and treatments for autoimmune disease from Arthritis New Zealand, see video here.