What is it?

People with G6PD deficiency do not have enough of an enzyme (chemical) called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). It is a genetic disorder which predominantly occurs in males.

Without G6PD, red blood cells are destroyed when exposed to certain foods, infections, medicines or chemicals. Red blood cells breaking down in excess can result in haemolytic anaemia (reduced number of red blood cells), jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), shortness of breath and other symptoms.

G6PD is an inherited condition and cannot be spread from one person to another. Managing G6PD deficiency involves avoiding foods and medications that can trigger the episodes of the condition.

G6PD deficiency and vaccines

Vaccination is an important way of preventing the potential triggers that viral and bacterial infections can be in people with G6PD deficiency. Vaccines have not been identified as a medication to avoid. People with G6PD deficiency can be safely immunised in community settings without the need for additional monitoring.  

G6PD deficiency and COVID-19 vaccines

Like routine vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines can be safely administered to people with G6PD deficiency. Clinical trials and vaccine rollouts around the world have not identified any specific concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccines and people with G6PD deficiency.

There is no evidence that a particular brand of COVID-19 vaccination is preferred for people with G6PD deficiency. It is recommended that people receive COVID-19 vaccines when they meet eligibility requirements.  

Resources

Authors: Georgina Lewis (SAEFVIC Clinical Nurse Manager, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) and Nigel Crawford (Paediatrician, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne)

Reviewed by: Rachael McGuire (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator), Francesca Machingaifa (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator) and Davina Buntsma (MVEC Immunisation Fellow)

Date: June 2021

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy. 

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.