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COVID Vaccination and Vitiligo – What We Know So Far

2020 was a difficult year for the entire humanity, including the vitiligo community. Throughout the “still ongoing” pandemic, many of us wondered how having vitiligo would influence the effect of the virus. While many of us assumed that having vitiligo will mean getting more severe effects from the virus, many of us had questions if the skin condition might get worse during a coronavirus diagnosis.

Interestingly, the cases of coronavirus infection with the virus making vitiligo worse or people with vitiligo having more severe reactions to it haven’t been medically explored enough through research trials.

Will COVID vaccination have put vitiligo fighters at risk of additional side effects?  

Throughout many studies, it has been established that people with vitiligo always don’t have a weakened immune system. In fact, in many vitiligo fighters, the immune system is a little too strong at least against their pigment cells. Thus, it is expected that the immune system will work just fine and generate a strong immune response to any vaccine, preventing the receiver from developing serious symptoms from COVID. Experts believe either version of the vaccine will have any harmful effects for those with vitiligo beyond the anticipated side effects of headaches, chills, fever, and arm pain from the shot in some cases.

Another question that many of us have this time is “will the overactive nature of the immune response due to vitiligo cause additional side effects to the vaccine?” As per experts, it is unlikely because, in people with vitiligo, the entire immune system is not hyperactive. In most of us with vitiligo, a small portion of the immune system is responsible for killing the pigment cells.

What do we know about the COVID vaccination’s effect on vitiligo?

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the world, many of us with vitiligo have questioned whether if getting vaccinated will have any negative effects on vitiligo. Many of us this common question in our head – “Will the vaccine make vitiligo worse?” We can’t know the answer to this due to lack of the studies on the subject.

In the end, the small theoretical risks associated with getting the vaccine are nothing compared to the real risks of not getting vaccinated.

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