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BSG Inflammatory Bowel Disease Section and Clinical Research Group Position Statement on SARS-CoV2 Vaccination

Updated on: 23 Sep 2021   First published on 04 Sep 2021

Our advice and guidance around COVID-19 is being regularly reviewed. Visit https://www.bsg.org.uk/covid-19-advice/ to see the latest published guidance.

British Society of Gastroenterology Inflammatory Bowel Disease Section and IBD Clinical Research Group position statement on SARS-CoV2 Vaccination

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Section of the BSG and the IBD Clinical Research Group have agreed the following key recommendations:

1. We strongly support SARS-CoV2 vaccination for patients with IBD.

2. The risks of SARS-CoV2 vaccination in IBD patients are anticipated to be very low.

3. In IBD patients taking immunosuppressive drugs, including biologics and small molecule inhibitors, the key concerns are related to the theoretical risk of sub-optimal vaccine responses rather than vaccine side effects.

4. We recommend that IBD patients accept whichever approved SARS-CoV2 vaccination is offered to them, in accordance with UK Department of Health and Social Care and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)

5. It is important that patients with IBD are offered consistent and unbiased advice. This will be disseminated through the BSG and Crohn’s & Colitis UK.

6. We recommend a third dose (or booster dose) of SARS-CoV2 vaccine for all patients with IBD receiving immunosuppressive treatment and all patients with IBD that are extremely clinically vulnerable.

Position Statement Review

This document was published on 19th January 2021, and updated on 10th May 2021 and further updated on 14th September 2021. The full position statement is available to download below.

Summary of changes

10th May 2021

  • FAQ 2: updated to reflect changes to advice on vaccination in pregnancy.
  • FAQ 3: updated to include recent safety data (mRNA-1273 and ChAdOx1 nCoV-19).
  • FAQ 4: updated to reflect data emerging from the CLARITY-IBD study.
  • Addition of FAQ 14: Has guidance changed on whether IBD patients can have the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine?

14th September 2021

  • Key recommendation 6 on vaccine third dose (or booster).
  • FAQ 2: updated with latest guidance on vaccination for children and young people with IBD (courtesy of Dr Jochen Kammermeier).
  • FAQ 10: updated with new information on efficacy of vaccines against COVID-19 variants.
  • FAQ 13: updated in line with JCVI/MHRA guidance on co-administration of influenza and SARS-CoV2 vaccines.
  • Addition of FAQ 15: Should IBD patients receive a SARS-CoV2 booster vaccine?
  • Addition of FAQ 16: Should antibody testing be performed to check immunity against SARS-CoV2?


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant mortality across the globe, with wide-ranging impacts across all sectors of society.
  • Patients with IBD may have increased susceptibility to infectious diseases.
  • The introduction of SARS-CoV2 vaccines is the first opportunity to suppress the virus over the long term and to protect individuals from COVID-19.
  • Several SARS-CoV2 vaccines are in advanced clinical development, and currently there are three that are approved/awaiting approval in the UK (see table 1). It is likely that additional vaccines will become available in the future.
  • The BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech)1, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (Oxford/AstraZeneca)2, mRNA-1273 (Moderna)3 and Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen) vaccines4 have been given authorisation for temporary supply by the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency under Regulation 174 of the Human Medicine Regulations 2012a,b,c,d,e.






The full position statement is available to download below.

Position statement developed by:

James L. Alexander1,2, Gordon Moran3, Daniel R. Gaya4,5, Tim Raine6, Ailsa Hart1,7, Nicholas A. Kennedy8,9, James O. Lindsay10,11, Jonathan MacDonald12, Jonathan P. Segal1,13, Shaji Sebastian14, Christian Selinger15, Miles Parkes6, Philip J. Smith16, Anjan Dhar17, Sreedhar Subramanian18, Ramesh Arasaradnam19, Christopher A. Lamb20,21, Tariq Ahmad8,9, Charlie Lees22,23, Liz Dobson24, Ruth Wakeman25, Ian Arnott23, Nick Powell1,2 on behalf of the IBD section of the British Society of Gastroenterology and the CRG.


  1. Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  4. Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK
  5. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
  6. Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  7. St Mark’s Hospital, London, UK
  8. Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, Exeter, UK
  9. University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  10. Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
  11. The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  12. Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  13. The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Uxbridge, UK
  14. Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Hull, UK
  15. Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK
  16. Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts, Liverpool, UK
  17. County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Durham, UK
  18. The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Liverpool, UK
  19. University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
  20. Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  21. Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  22. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  23. Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  24. IBD Registry Limited, London, UK
  25. Crohn’s & Colitis UK, Hatfield, UK

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