Covid-19 Vaccine and Lupus

Is The Covid-19 Vaccines Safe for Lupus Patient?

Last year was a tough year for everyone having to navigate their life and health with Covid-19. However for us living with underlying medical issues, it has been exhausting to say the least.

Last year when we first heard of Covid-19, I was so scared I didn’t leave my home for over 3 months. I am so grateful to my husband for the support mentally and physically during this time.

Fast forward a year and news of a Covid-19 vaccine came I was celebrating along with everyone else. I was excited when they first announced that there was a vaccine. Lives could be saved.

Then that excitement turned into fear. I have had so much anxiety and concerns about getting the Covid-19 vaccine. I have spoken to other lupus patients, and I am finding that they more often than not, share the same concerns as I do. The main concern I have been hearing, is that there hasn’t been enough testing with lupus patients and we are worried about the short term and long term side effects. We presume that it is unlikely that many people with lupus were included in the clinical trials for the vaccines.

And that is a bit worrisome of those of us living with this already mystery disease.

 

The 3 FDA Approved Vaccines

There is still a lot we don’t know about the vaccines that are beings offered to us to prevent Covid-19.

However what we do know is: There are now three approved vaccines available – from Pfizer, Modena and Johnson & Johnson. The Lupus Foundation of America is closely monitoring the FDA’s approval process and latest research so that they can keep us informed.

 

Th Johnson &Johnson vaccine works differently than the other two vaccines. It uses a “viral vector” method to tell immune cells how to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. We don’t have detailed information on what this means for people with lupus but LFA will be updating their resources as information becomes available.

How to Make a Decision about Getting the Vaccine.

Call your primary physician or rheumatologist (health care team) and discuss how to adjust your treatment plan to prepare for a COVID vaccine, since it can vary from person to person. You and your doctor(s) should decide together, if the vaccine is right for you and, if so, which one. Now more than ever it is important to have a health care team that you trust.

There is no evidence that people with lupus should not receive the vaccine. According to the CDC, there is no reason to think that taking the vaccine will result in an inflammatory response (flare) for a person with lupus or other autoimmune disease.

There is strong evidence from the clinical trials, however, that taking the vaccine greatly reduces the chance that a person will get COVID-19, which can be a serious or even fatal illness.

The American College of Rheumatology COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance recommends that people with autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic disease (which includes lupus) get the vaccine unless they have an allergy to an ingredient in the vaccine.

They will have more information as more research studies are conducted and analyzed over time.

Please continue to follow the Coronavirus and Lupus page for more updates as information is made available.

You can also get additional information about COVID-19 vaccine, visit www. cdc.gov/coronavirus/vaccines

Be well

xo

Gillian

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