Community News

Covid-19 Vaccine & Fanconi Anemia

Jan 27th, 2021

Last updated January 27, 2021. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

This statement was written with the input of the National Organization for Rare Diseases and clinicians specialized in treating Fanconi anemia patients.

In December 2020, two COVID-19 vaccines were approved by the FDA in the United States. What does this mean for people with Fanconi anemia and their families?

About the vaccine

As of January 2021, the two vaccines approved for use in the United States are from Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 years and older (administered in 2 doses, 3 weeks apart), and the Moderna vaccine is approved for individuals 18 years and older (administered in 2 doses, 4 weeks apart). Both the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccines are mRNA-based vaccines. These vaccines do not contain the virus or even a piece of the virus and therefore cannot cause COVID-19 infection.

Both vaccines are generally well tolerated with no serious safety concern and have greater than 95 percent efficacy at preventing COVID-19 symptoms.

As more vaccines become available, you can find the most up to date information on the CDC website.

Should individuals with FA get the vaccine?

The best and safest way to protect yourself from the virus is by getting vaccinated. Individuals, with or without FA, should get the vaccine as soon as it is available to them, unless there is a strong reason not to, as reviewed with their own provider. This may include:

  • If a patient has allergies to a vaccine component
  • If a patient is currently undergoing transplant or had a transplant and has not started to be revaccinated

We strongly advise you and your family members to speak with your primary health care providers about whether and when to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Just like everything else with Fanconi anemia, the risks and benefits for any medical decision should be weighed on a case-by-case basis and discussed with the patient’s treating physician.

When can I get the vaccine?

Currently, having a rare disease like Fanconi anemia does not mean you necessarily meet the criteria for early vaccination. Review the CDC website to learn more about considerations for people with underlying medical conditions. As with the frontline health care workers and nursing home residents, it is likely that individuals with underlying medical conditions, including those with compromised immune systems, respiratory and heart conditions, cancer survivors, and people 65 years and older, will be prioritized to receive the vaccine.

Check your state health department’s website, along with the CDC website, for more specific information on how distribution is being rolled out in your state.

Where can I learn more?