Coeliac disease and coronavirus (COVID-19)

We continue to work to find answers for our community about health risks for people with coeliac disease based on the available evidence and expert opinion.


Research on coeliac disease and COVID-19 continues to emerge, but reassuringly, the research to date has found that there does not appear to be an increased risk of catching COVID-19 for people with coeliac disease. In addition, research from Sweden has found that there does not appear to be an increased risk of hospitalisation from COVID-19 or having severe COVID-19 in people with coeliac disease. Prof Jonas Ludvigsson, one of the authors of this research presented his research at our virtual 2021 research conference.

You can watch the video here

A study from America looked at the number of COVID-19 related hospitalisations in patients with coeliac disease, before and after COVID-19 vaccination. In this study people with coeliac disease were at higher risk of hospitalisation compared with people without the condition but reassuringly, the researchers found the risk of hospitalisation was decreased in patients with coeliac disease who had been vaccinated, demonstrating the benefit of the COVID-19 vaccines.  

There is still a lot more to learn about COVID-19 and the impact on people with other medical conditions including coeliac disease. The research published so far has not investigated the long term effects of COVID-19 such as “long covid” specifically in people with coeliac disease, where people have symptoms lasting weeks or months after the infection has gone. 

Our Health Advisory Council (HAC), a group of key health experts working in coeliac disease, continue to advise us as the situation and research develops. We will continue to keep our information updated as things change. 

Recently diagnosed?

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease, you should be referred to a dietitian to help you get started on a gluten free diet. If there is a significant wait time for your appointment you may get a head start by listening to Nicola, one of our dietitians, who shares her expertise. 

Nicola one of our dietitians shares her expertise


Our Health Advisory Council, recommends that a diagnosis of coeliac disease does not increase the risk of side effects or complications after vaccination. 

Researchers in Norway found the body’s immune response to the COVID-19 vaccine in people with coeliac disease to be similar to healthy controls, therefore people with coeliac disease can expect the same level of protection as the rest of the population. 

Spring Booster 2024

People who are considered to be at higher risk of severe COVID-19 will be offered an additional vaccine as part of the Spring Booster Campaign from April 2024.  

People with coeliac disease are not expected to be offered a booster as part of the Spring Booster Campaign, unless they meet other requirements as further described. The Spring Booster dose will be offered to

  • All adults 75 years of age and over
  • Residents in a care home for older adults
  • People aged 6 months to 74 years with a weakened immune system, including: 
    • blood cancers (such as leukaemia or lymphoma)
    • lowered immunity due to treatment (such as steroid medication, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
    • lowered immunity due to inherited disorders of the immune system
    • an organ or bone marrow transplant
    • diseases that affect the immune system such as poorly controlled HIV
    • other diseases or treatments as advised by your specialist

Are adults with coeliac disease in a clinical risk group? 

For adults, coeliac disease is listed as an example condition where reduced spleen function can occur so adults with coeliac disease may be invited for a booster vaccine.  

Spleen function is not routinely assessed in people with coeliac disease but the risk seems to be lower for individuals who have been diagnosed and following a strict gluten free diet for several years and are otherwise healthy. This may be taken into account by your healthcare team when deciding whether you should be offered a COVID-19 booster.  
The booster recommendations are based on national guidance for the Spring Booster dose. However, local healthcare teams have access to your individual medical records and may make a decision to offer the vaccine on a case by case basis. If you are concerned, speak with your local healthcare team who are best placed to provide individual advice.  

Are children with coeliac disease in a clinical risk group? 

Children with coeliac disease aged under 16 years are not expected to be routinely offered a COVID-19 booster during the Spring Booster Campaign. This is because coeliac disease is not listed as an example condition associated with reduced spleen function for children. If you have a child with coeliac disease and are concerned, speak with your local healthcare team. They are best placed to provide individual advice.  

Still have questions? Read some FAQs answered by one of our Health Advisory Council experts: Paediatric Gastroenterologist, Dr Peter Gillett.