Antibiotic Research UK (ANTRUK), the UK’s only charity focused on tackling bacterial antibiotic resistance, is urging the UK Government to publish clear national guidelines about whether people on antibiotics should have the COVID-19 vaccination. The charity’s vital work providing support to people who have antibiotic-resistant infections has made it clear that better patient advice about vaccination is urgently needed.
Professor Colin Garner, Antibiotic Research UK’s Chief Executive, said, “We are looking to the UK health authorities to provide clear advice to patients who are on antibiotics as to whether they can be given a COVID-19 vaccine or not. We are being approached by many patients every day asking this question and we would like to provide them with official guidance on this issue.”
Alarmingly, the charity has anecdotal evidence that people are being refused the vaccine on the grounds that they are currently taking antibiotics. This suggests that those administering the vaccine require updated guidance to ensure they deliver the highest quality patient care and accurate advice. It is clear that the issue now needs to be publicly clarified by official guidance that clearly states the two treatments do not interfere with each other or pose a risk.
We contacted the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and received confirmation that, “Antibiotics are not a contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination per se. As with other vaccines, however, administration of COVID-19 vaccine should be postponed in individuals suffering from an acute severe febrile illness. However, the presence of a minor infection, such as a cold, and/or low-grade fever, should not delay vaccination.”
Arlene Brailey, Patient Support Officer, ANTRUK, added, “At a time when we are all much more anxious about our health, it is worrying to think that some people are facing this additional confusion. Taking antibiotics does not preclude you from being vaccinated unless you have a high fever. If you have been refused a vaccine due to taking antibiotics and would like someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to contact our patient support team.”
About Antibiotic Research UK
The world’s first and only charity focussed on tackling bacterial antibiotic resistance. The charity’s mission is to develop new antibiotic treatments, educate the public about resistance and provide patient support. Since its formation in 2014, the charity has funded research, supported academic groups in universities and employed the country’s first Patient Support Officer focussed on supporting patients with an antibiotic resistant infection. The charity relies wholly on public donations and receives no government support.
You can learn more about Antibiotic Research UK at www.antibioticresearch.org.uk
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