Sepsis and COVID Vaccine

A lot of sepsis survivors ask where they may be on the priority list for vaccination against COVID-19.  This is a worrying time for all, especially for those who have recently had sepsis. We hope you’ll find this general guidance useful.

Will I be on the priority list?

The way in which individuals are affected by sepsis is incredibly varied and not fully understood – not everyone who has previously had sepsis is vulnerable to severe illness should they contract COVID-19. For most people who have been well, and not experienced repeated infections or problems with immunity after surviving sepsis, the impact of COVID-19 is likely to be no higher than in the majority of the general population – for most, a relatively mild illness.  It is unlikely that these people would fit into a higher priority group for vaccination.

Some survivors of sepsis, though, can be more prone to developing further infections (including sepsis). These people may be at increased risk of severe illness if they acquire COVID-19:

  • Those who’ve had a long and complicated recovery following sepsis and those with ongoing health problems. It’s likely these people will already fit into the clinically vulnerable group who are currently the 6th priority group for vaccination
  • Those with severe complications of sepsis or with major underlying disease, such as people on intermittent dialysis or those who have had organ transplants. These people are likely to be in the extremely vulnerable group, currently 4th on the priority groups list

If you feel that you should be on a priority list then this should be discussed with your GP or hospital specialist, who will have been provided with guidance to support these decisions.

Is it safe for me to get the vaccine?

The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world, and we expect complications to be rare or extremely rare.  If you’ve previously had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to medicines, vaccines or food speak with your GP about the risks to you of the available vaccines.

The UK Sepsis Trust are advocates of vaccination as a way to reduce infection and possibly sepsis. If you meet the criteria to be included in a priority group, then we would encourage you to accept the vaccine.

We remain committed to supporting those affected by severe infection and sepsis, including COVID-19. Our Support Team are available to speak with you to answer any questions you may have: