Celiac Disease and COVID-19
Two expert authors and clinicians with decades of experience answer questions about COVID-19, celiac disease and autoimmunity: Alessio Fasano, MD, Director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts; and Dr. Steven Plogsted, BS, PharmD, BCNSP, CNSC, FASPEN, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist (retired) at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Dr. Lael Yonker, pediatric pulmonologist and co-founder of the Pediatric COVID-19 Biorepository at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, addresses questions about COVID-19 and MIS-C with Susie Flaherty, Communications Director at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.
The Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (SSCD) released the following statement on COVID-19 vaccines and children:
Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic requires understanding variations in the human immune system, how different groups are affected by the virus, and how we can leverage science to develop targeted vaccines to protect us.
On March 25, 2021, Dr. Ofer Levy, Director of the Precisions Vaccine Program in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children's Hospital, and Dr. Lael Yonker, pediatric pulmonologist and co-founder of the Pediatric COVID-19 Biorepository at Massachusetts General Hospital, led the discussion to help attendees understand what is known about the COVID-19 virus today and how new developments will help to contain community spread of the virus.
In this video, Dr. Alessio Fasano of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment presents the science behind the recently approved COVID-19 vaccines. He also answers FAQs on COVID-19 vaccination and celiac disease.
Note: in the Q&A, Dr. Fasano states that the COVID-19 vaccines do not contain gluten. He also discusses concerns around the efficacy of the vaccine in patients with celiac disease. Please watch the whole video!
The Society for the Study of Celiac Disease shared a statement on the COVID-19 vaccine. This statement concludes with, "As the safety and efficacy data on Covid vaccination has emerged, there is no evidence to suggest that people with celiac disease would be more prone to an adverse effect of vaccination. Celiac disease is not considered an allergy, and by itself does not prompt additional precaution when proceeding with vaccination. Patients with concerns about vaccination and their particular circumstance should speak with their health care provider. We will undergo Covid-19 vaccination as soon as it is offered to us, and we urge our patients to do so."
We know many of you are worried about COVID-19 and how it may affect people with celiac disease. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that someone with well-controlled celiac disease would be more vulnerable to COVID-19 than the general population. People with active celiac disease may be more susceptible to infections in general.
Read the Q&A from the Latest Guidance on Celiac Disease and COVID-19 webinar NCA co-hosted with the Celiac Research Program at Harvard Medical School on September 23, 2020.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and, in and of itself, is not considered an immunocompromising condition. People with celiac disease should follow the guidelines for COVID-19 from their health care provider as well as federal, state and local health authorities.
Other Sources of Information:
Podcast with Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City
How to Ensure Access to GF food while hospitalized
World Health Organization information about COVID-19, including:
Partners in Health Fact vs Fiction
Food Safety and Coronavirus: A Comprehensive Guide
COVID-19 and Children: Answers from a Boston Children's Hospital Expert
How to access GF School Meals During COVID-19 School Closures
Search for a food pantry where you may be able to get GF food.
Ways You Can Help:
Take the MassGeneral Hospital for Children Center for Celiac Research COVID-19 survey.
Please support Feeding Gluten-Free, and help us get GF food to the many people in need.