Using COVID-19 vaccines in individuals with acute severe febrile illness

Christine Randall, Assistant Director, Lead pharmacist for Dental Medicines Information and Pharmacovigilance, North West Medicines Information CentrePublished Last updated See all updates

Advice on using COVID-19 vaccines in individuals with acute severe febrile illness

Advice

For patients with current acute severe febrile illness or acute infection the manufacturers information for the Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines state that vaccination should be postponed. However, all state that the presence of a minor infection and/or low-grade fever should not delay vaccination.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA – formerly known as PHE) Immunisation Against Infectious Disease (the Green Book) states that minor illnesses without fever or systemic upset are not valid reasons to postpone immunisation. Individuals who are acutely unwell can have their immunisation postponed until they have fully recovered.  This is to avoid confusing the differential diagnosis of any acute illness (including COVID-19) by wrongly attributing any signs or symptoms to the adverse effects of the vaccine.

Change history

  1. Information checked and remains correct
  1. Information checked and remains correct
  1. Manufacturers information related to the Moderna vaccine added.
  2. Information from all manufacturers that minor infection and/or low-grade fever should not delay vaccination added.
  1. Manufacturer link for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine changed to Comirnaty SmPC
  1. Published