Vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended for all people living with HIV.
Despite the controversy that is observed among few people – in many cases the product of misinformation – experts, who have all the clinical data on the development of vaccines, agree that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh clearly to your risks.
People with HIV are in the fifth priority group for vaccination: people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 in case of infection. Several studies have not described that people living with HIV have a higher risk of acquiring COVID-19, but some studies have reported that, if the infection occurs, there is a greater risk of presenting the disease in a serious way, particularly in those people with low CD4 counts or poor virological control, older age and / or the presence of other diseases associated with severe COVID.
The COVID-19 Vaccination Technical Working Group of the Interterritorial Council has not yet made public when it is estimated that the vaccination of people living with HIV will begin or where it will take place. We will keep you informed of any news in this regard.
However, if you are living with HIV and you also belong to another vaccination priority group for your job or age, you can receive the COVID vaccine without problem and without requiring any additional monitoring or precautions.
- Group 1: residents and health and social health personnel in residences;
- Group 2: health personnel on the front line and other health and social health personnel;
- Group 3: population older than 64 years;
- Group 4: people with severe disabilities.
None of the COVID vaccines in development and approved under emergency use (Pfizer / Biontech, Moderna or Oxford / AstraZeneca) are created with live SARS-CoV-2 viruses: the one administered is the genetic material to produce one of the proteins of the virus and thus generate an immune response against COVID-19. That is why these vaccines can NOT cause SARS-CoV-2 infection in people who receive them. Thus, they present no theoretical risk in people living with HIV, regardless of their CD4 levels.
Ongoing clinical trials with COVID vaccines have involved people with stable HIV infection on antiretroviral treatment. Although the number of participants for whom data are available is small (100-200 for each trial), no safety concerns have been reported in HIV-positive people. The studies that are currently being carried out will allow to know in a greater number of people (also people with HIV) if the levels of response to vaccines are long-lasting and if booster doses are required in people with diseases of the immune system.
More information on COVID-19 in people living with HIV is available on the EACS Society (European AIDS Clinical Society) website.