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The COVID-19 Vaccine and Substance Use Disorders


Having a substance use disorder can make you more likely to get COVID-19 and to become severely ill from the disease—so plan to get vaccinated as soon as you can.

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DR. RODGERS: If you have a substance use disorder, should you still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Hi, I’m Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

My colleague, Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, explains:

DR. VOLKOW: Having a substance use disorder, such as opioid, tobacco, alcohol, cocaine, or cannabis use disorder, can make you more likely to get COVID-19 and to become severely ill from the disease. COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for, and can be given to, people with a substance use disorder.

If you are 16 years and older, you can get a free COVID-19 vaccination regardless of current or past substance use. You should plan to get vaccinated as soon as you can. Widespread vaccination is a critical tool to help stop the pandemic. If you have questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your health care provider for advice.

DR. RODGERS: For more tips, follow us @NIDDKgov. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers.

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