People with autoimmune diseases can receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Fact checking

Silva Dervanovic, UNICEF young reporter
fact checking blog visual
UNICEF Montenegro
14 April 2021

Having in mind that vaccination against COVID-19 has started, information is being circulated on social networks and online media that persons with autoimmune diseases should not be vaccinated against coronavirus.

Early this year, an article was published on the portal under the title "Pfizer does not go together well with Hashimoto": researcher Marija Gnjatovic is appealing to patients with autoimmune diseases to be patient with vaccination.

The text says that persons suffering from autoimmune diseases face a big dilemma when it comes to vaccination, because, at least for now, vaccination is not recommended in their cases, especially for the most numerous group with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland caused by the immune system disorder; and that “in general, whoever has a serious health issue should consult a doctor before making a decision about vaccination and choosing a vaccine”.

We decided to check these allegations and ask experts whether persons suffering from autoimmune diseases can be vaccinated.

We found information on the website of the World Health Organization that, although further studies are needed for people living with HIV and autoimmune conditions, people in this category are part of the group recommended for vaccination, but they should only be vaccinated after receiving information and advice from their doctor.

We posed the same question to experts from the Clinical Centre of Montenegro.

Patients with autoimmune diseases, with adequate therapy from their chosen doctor, can receive the vaccine against COVID-19.

Dr. Vladimir Jovanovic, from the Clinical Centre of Montenegro

Having this information in mind, we can conclude that all citizens, even those with autoimmune diseases, should consult with their chosen doctors before receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

We advise those who are getting information from online media and social networks to choose what they watch, to check all the information with health professionals and to decide carefully based on that.

In an effort to contribute to preventing the dissemination of coronavirus misinformation and to promoting credible sources of information, UNICEF’s young reporters have decided to check the accuracy of information published on social media and in the media that has attracted public attention. In verifying the accuracy of information, they have followed the example of the Public Disclosure Platform “Raskrinkavanje“ and partly used its publicly available methodology.