High-risk patients face COVID-19 vaccine questions

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, more and more people with underlying conditions or health factors will receive the vaccine.

UW Health experts say it's crucial for high-risk groups to talk closely with a health care provider, sharing important information about vaccinations.

"Those people are at higher risk than if they did get infected with SARS-CoV-2, they have a higher risk they’d have a more severe version of it. In all likelihood, they’d end up potentially hospitalized or worse," said Dr. James Conway.

Conway said people with autoimmune diseases, women who are pregnant or nursing, and people who have had known allergic reactions to vaccines should be in close contact with their providers.

"People who have had any type of transplant, people that have any kind of autoimmune disease should at least think about is there something that this may set off that they need to be prepared for and just make sure they can manage it," Conway said.

Conway said it's important that people in high-risk groups who are eligible for the vaccine research online resources provided by their health care provider or state department of health before scheduling a vaccination.

"I think for the vast majority of people with an underlying medical condition, the benefit of getting vaccinated and protected against this terrible disease far outweighs the risk of any of the side effects of the vaccines," said Conway.

UW Health said eligibility to receive the vaccine is not prioritized by the health risk factor of COVID-19.

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