COVID-19 and Endocrine Disease

European Society of Endocrinology (ESE)’s statement concerning COVID-19 vaccination: ‘follow the same recommendations for patients with stable endocrine disorders as for the general population’ (02 February 2021)

It has come to ESE’s attention that patients with endocrine disorders like autoimmune thyroiditis, have been declined to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This has prompted ESE to release the following information.

Trials that have led the European and US American health authorities EMA and FDA to authorize the first two vaccines included more than 40.000 and 30.000 volunteers, resp., aged from 16 to over 75 years of age. Among them were patients with diabetes, obesity, malignancies, HIV, chronic pulmonary disease as well as cerebrovascular and liver disease in stable health condition. Efficacy and safety were comparable in these patients to healthy subjects. In addition, the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention state that persons with autoimmune conditions who have no contraindications to vaccination may receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. 

ESE therefore stresses that the recommendation for the COVID-19 vaccination in patients with stable endocrine disorders like autoimmune thyroiditis, Grave’s disease, Addison’s disease, pituitary adenomas, diabetes type 1 and 2 and obesity should not be different from the one for the general population. Patients with adrenal insufficiency should be informed that in case of side effects like fever sick day rules should be followed.

A downloadable version of this statement can be found here.

Anton Luger, ESE ExCo member responsible for ECAS

Andrea Giustina, ESE President

Robin Peeters, ESE Clinical Committee Chair, on behalf of ESE’s Clinical Committee

ESE: Raising awareness of the links between endocrinology and COVID-19:

During this challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic, ESE recognises the hard work and dedication of all endocrinologists across the world, and in particular our members, as they strive to continue to support their patients and develop new care pathways. ESE is working actively at the EU level to raise awareness about the links between endocrinology, COVID-19 and metabolic diseases.

You can read our latest position paper HERE and a condensed version of the same paper HERE.

In addition, ESE has, and continues to, develop and provide resources for use by the whole endocrine community during this time. We hope these are of interest and benefit. Discover our clinical information and resources HERE.

Note: After additional feedback from experts, the reference to people suffering from auto-immune thyroid disease as a population that would face an increased risk of and/or from infection has been deleted as there is no clear evidence to support this. A follow-up statement about a specific concern for the millions of patients suffering from thyroid related disorders has been erroneously attributed to the article Endocrinology in the time of COVID-19: management of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism; Boelaert K et al, Eur J Endocrinol. 2020 Jul:G33-G39, and has been deleted.


ESE & COVID-19 and EU4Health. 

ESE’s experts have been very active since the pandemic started, identifying links between COVID-19 and endocrinology. Our latest position paper on the topic can be found here. Recently (15 February 2021) Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland, European People’s Party) echoed our call for a stronger policy response in the Parliament Magazine. Read her article here.