Hi there. I am so glad that you reached out to me regarding receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Please note that at this point in time there is not a lot of information regarding long-term side effects. There are risks to receiving the vaccine and there are risks to not receiving the vaccine. I do encourage you to consider getting it. The two vaccines that are currently available Pfizer and Moderna are non- live vaccines. At all costs, avoid any live vaccination that may be available in the future.
New ACR Recommendations for Vaccination:
The current recommendations are to continue your medications if you are on: Plaquenil, Imuran, Arava, Sulfasalazine,Cellcept, Cosentyx, Taltz, Tremfya, Stelara, Enbrel, Humira, Cimzia, Kevzara, Remicade, Simponi, and Actemra.
If you are on Methotrexate: Hold methotrexate 1 week after each vaccine dose.
If you are on Xeljanz, Rinvoq or Olumiant: Hold for 1 week after each vaccine dose.
If you are on Orencia subcutaneous: Hold your Orencia shot 1 week BEFORE and 1 week AFTER the first COVID-19 vaccine dose (only); no interruption around the second dose.
If you are on Orencia IV: First vaccine should occur 4 weeks after your last Orenica infusion and postpone the subsequent Orencia infusion by 1 week. No dosage adjustment for the second vaccine.
For Rituxan IV: First vaccine should be taken 4 weeks prior to next scheduled rituximab cycle; after vaccine, delay rituxan infusion for 2-4 weeks after 2nd vaccine dose.
There have been noted musculoskeletal side effects associated with the vaccines among other side effects. You may have more of a pronounced response depending on how active your inflammatory disease may be. Your symptoms from the vaccine should only last for 4-5 days following vaccination. If your symptoms last longer-7-10 days, please call the office for further assistance.
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Wishing you always good health.
Dr. Soha Mousa