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No concerns are anticipated on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines on people with underlying liver or gastrointestinal disease, according to an updated advice from the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA). This includes people with immunocompromised conditions or who are on immunosuppressants.

The advice, issued on 30 April, offers an overview based on current information and recommendations from international liver and gastroenterology organisations including the AASLD, EASL,  ILTS,  BSG, ECCO and IOIBD

The statement said large international registries are tracking the safety of these populations have thus far reported no increased risk of adverse events.

"Within the limitations of existing data, vaccinations do not appear to be associated with flares of activity of immune-related disease or transplant rejection. Irrespective of underlying immune-related disease or transplantation, patients should receive COVID-19 vaccination and disease activity should not impact the timing of vaccination or the choice of vaccine," it said.

GESA has also published an information sheet on COVID-19 vaccine for community. The illustrated leaflet includes basic information on Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccinations including dosage intervals, safety and efficacy.  These COVID-19 vaccinations, approved for use in Australia, are recommended for people with, and taking medicines for, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), liver disease and liver transplants within the standard guidelines - Pfizer for those 16 years and above, AstraZeneca for people 50 years and over.

People who are pregnant, planning to be pregnant, or have allergies that cause breathing difficulties, or are under 16 years old, are advised to talk to their specialists before getting any COVID-19 vaccination.

 

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