Autoimmune Disorders and COVID-19

Last updated: February 17, 2022

Some autoimmune disorders and immunosuppressive medications used to treat them may put you at higher risk of developing more serious illness from COVID-19.

Your physician can review your medical record to help you understand your personal risk. More information about autoimmune disorders and COVID-19 is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Here are answers to some common questions you may have. This information might change as we learn more about COVID-19. If you have other questions, talk to your physician.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have an autoimmune disorder, you are not more likely to get COVID-19. However, depending on the autoimmune disorder and the immunosuppressive medication you are taking, you may be more likely to get seriously ill from COVID-19. To learn more about your individual risk associated with your medications, please contact your physician.

The virus that causes COVID-19 can cause intense infection and inflammation in the body. This can place more stress on the body of people who live with other health conditions such as autoimmune disorders. That increases their risk for serious complications from COVID-19 and decreases their ability to fight an infection like COVID-19.

Most people who take medications to suppress their immune systems are considered at least somewhat immunocompromised. This means your immune system is less able to fight infections. It is especially important that you take precautions to avoid a COVID-19 infection.

Everyone should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to help prevent COVID-19 exposure and infection. We urge you to:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Physically distance.
  • Exercise.
  • Eat well.
  • Reduce stress.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

Keep at least a 30-day supply of your medications. If you need a refill, call your physician or send a request through MyNM. While refilling your prescription, you can limit exposure to COVID-19 by using a mail-order service or drive-thru pharmacy. Or, have a caregiver pick up your medication.

You should continue taking your medications as prescribed by your physician. If you receive regular infusions to treat your autoimmune disorder, talk to your physician about what is best for you.

If you have a question about your medications, please call your physician or send your care team a question through MyNM. You can access MyNM at or through the MyNM® app on a mobile device.

Do not make changes to your medication without talking to your care team first.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, you should be tested for COVID-19. Learn about your testing options in the COVID-19 Resource Center at If positive for the virus, you should contact your treating physician to see if you are a candidate for COVID-19 treatment.

The answer depends on many factors. Follow guidelines from the CDC.