Please see below for guidance on the safety and prioritisation of COVID vaccinations for pituitary patients and information on hydrocortisone doses.
Full clinical trials are taking place and vaccines being rolled out have gone through full regulatory checks. As with all new drugs and vaccines there will be on-going safety checks.
We are not aware of any specific side effects of a COVID-19 vaccine that would be unique to people with endocrine conditions or diabetes mellitus, in the same way as there are no concerns about other vaccines. Each of the vaccines that are being developed have different potential side effects. If you have concerns about a COVID-19 vaccination, check the NHS vaccine pages to see if your queries are answered there. For any individual circumstances, you may need to talk to your GP.
Should I increase my glucocorticoid (hydrocortisone or steroid) dose before having the COVID-19 vaccine? (information from ADSHG)
Our Addison's Clinical Advisory Panel (CAP) and Society for Endocrinology have advised that there is no need to routinely increase glucocorticoid dose in patients with adrenal insufficiency at the time of vaccination if no significant symptoms. However if you are particularly anxious/ stressed before, this will "use up" your cortisol so you should up-dose in response to how you feel. It's different for everyone, as every body is different - so please listen to your body and do what is right for you. But if you were to feel unwell after vaccination, do double your glucocorticoid, take paracetamol and drink plently of fluids as you would normally for sick day rules.
Advice for adults with adrenal insufficiency
Addison's Disease Self-Help Group have kindly put together this helpful guide to vulnerability and vaccination priority in regard to COVID-19. This has been written by their highly qualified Clinical Panel
Adults with diabetes insipidus
Priority Groups for coronavirus vaccines: The government has issued a list of people considered vulnerable - you can find more guidance about who should get a vaccine, and when from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisations (JCVI).
Whilst diabetes insipidus is not specifically mentioned in this guidance, the following criteria apply to people with diabetes insipidus: Category 6: “People aged 16 to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious illness or death from coronavirus. This decision will be based on the health care professional responsible for their care and category 6 should be taken as a minimum requirement.’
All those in the categories below will get letters to call them in for vaccinating
JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems. As the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. The order of priority for each group in the population corresponds with data on the number of individuals who would need to be vaccinated to prevent one death, estimated from UK data obtained from March to June 2020:
- residents in a care home for older adults and their carers
- all those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers
- all those 75 years of age and over
- all those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals[footnote 1]
- all those 65 years of age and over
- all individuals aged 16 years[footnote 2] to 64 years with underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. This also includes those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill.
- all those 60 years of age and over
- all those 55 years of age and over
- all those 50 years of age and over
This page will be updated and shared as and when any new information or guidance arises