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Are you getting the vaccine?

Hello, I am debating the pros and cons of getting the covid vaccine right now and would like to know others opinions on the subject who have the same medical issues as I do. So here is the concern and the question to those who are immune suppressed .... The CDC states no research has been done on the vaccine and those who are immune suppressed , yet they are urging those who are, to get the vaccine. My own Rheumatologist says I should but had no reason other then so you dont get Covid . I would like to know how you all feel about this issue, since there is no research yet ? Has anyone had a serious discussion with your Rheumatologist about this issue and what was their advice

  1. Hello Wendye, I also struggle with this for months. I asked my primary care physician, my dermatologist and my rheumatolgist about taking the vaccine. They didn't give me a warm and fuzzy answer. The CDC said it was okay. I had to make my own decision. I am very award there is no data available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccine for people with autoimmune conditions. So, I decided to do it for me. I got the vaccine and glad I did. I have talked to several people whose rheumatologist said it was okay. You do what you think is best for you.

    1. Hi , I'm so glad you posted this - I know a lot of people have been thinking about it too. Hopefully there'll be some studies on the vaccines and immunocompromised people coming out at some point... I can totally appreciate feeling concerned about it all. Will you let us know what you decide to do?

      My personal experience - I'm taking methotrexate and had my first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine (I'm over in the UK) almost 8 weeks ago now. I believe I'm due my second dose anytime within the next month. I did not talk directly with my rheumatologist about it (although the rheumatology department here put out a very general statement on it) but my GP invited me to have the vaccine done and he knows all of my medical history. I have been thinking about it in the same way that I think of the flu shot, in the sense that it's preparing my body in case it comes into contact with the virus, which I think helped me feel less wary about it.

      I am really interested in hearing others' thoughts on/experiences with this! -Catherine, Community Moderator

      1. I am back from the doctor. He recommended I don't get Astrazeneca due to the medication and because I am under 50. As a healthcare worker I am eligible to get a Pfizer vaccine, which we have limited stocks of in Australia as it has to be imported from overseas. I thought I might have to wait for an appointment, but was able to book in for this Thursday for my first dose! Most doctors and nurses have already had the vaccine so there is more available for other healthcare workers, including those like myself who provide home care. I also do some casual relief (substitute) teaching a couple of days a week unless we have Covid cases in the community so will feel better going between schools and care work once I have had the vaccine. The advantage of that is I can easily take days off for medical appointments as well since two days a week my work is casual. Doctor also says due to my otherwise good health and the fact I already never drink alcohol he is not too worried about side affects from Methoblastin, though of course I will be having blood tests and looking out for side effects to make sure it is safe for me.

      2. , thanks so much for the update. That is awesome that you're eligible for the Pfizer one and that you can get it so soon! You've probably seen already but just in case - a few people further down in the comments have shared their experiences with the Pfizer vaccine. I hope everything goes well on Thursday! Casual jobs are the best aren't they?! So handy when you don't feel well or you have to go for appointments, etc.

        Good to hear that the Methoblastin got the okay from your doctor! They do keep a pretty close eye on everything with the blood tests. I actually need to book my next blood test so thank you for the reminder 😀 Hopefully you'll be able to get that wrist pain calmed down. Keep us updated if you can! -Catherine, Community Moderator

    2. Hi all
      I’m on Enbrel and in the UK. I was offered the Astra vaccine around 6 weeks ago.
      I was worried about taking it, thinking that it could make me feel extremely ill. I tried to weigh up the pros and cons but as there was little to no information available I felt in the end I had to just make a decision that my conscience would be happy with.

      I had it at 10am and felt completely fine all that day. When I woke the next day I immediately thought, oh my word, this feels like flu. It made me a little anxious but I got out of bed and tried to relax my into a normal Sunday morning.
      After about 5 or 6 hours I started to feel better and by the end of the day I was back to my normal way of feeling. I certainly knew I still had PsA put it that way, I had hoped the vaccine may have turned itself into a miracle cure 😊

      Since then, as far as I can make out, the suggestion is that having the vaccine itself is not a greater risk for immunosuppressed people than it is for “fit and healthy” people.
      From what I see though, the concern is that the vaccine won’t be as effective in immunosuppressed people.
      I read that this assumption is made using past flu vaccine data that points to slightly less efficacy in the immunosuppressed. I have my flu jab every year and also had the pneumococcal vaccine two years ago. Before COVID I was completely unaware that these may be less effective for me. So, at least I’ve learnt something I suppose 😊

      Originally, last March, my rheumatology nurse said that COVID posed no greater threat to people on Enbrel. It also stated that fact on the site last year. Not sure if that is still the belief.

      I think the facts differ for everyone depending on what medication they are on and how advanced their PsA is.

      At the end of the day I thought it was a decision I just had to take for myself, amongst the many others we have had to make in the past year. I have shielded since last March and working from home has not been the picnic I thought it would be. Something else I’ve learnt along the way. 😊

      I hope you decide what is right for you.
      Stay safe

      1. I meant to say, a trial started in the UK around 2 to 3 weeks ago to test the efficacy of the vaccines specifically in immunosuppressed people. As far as I know there is no data or results available yet but I am certainly looking forward to these with bated breath.

      2. Thanks for sharing your experience, . I am sure you are excited to be experience more freedom once the immunity kicks in. Best wishes! - Lori (Team Member)

    3. I have had the Moderna vaccine. Slight headache (which could have been due to dehydration and a change in the weather) after the first shot, as well as a sore arm. After the second shot, I had a fever for about 24 hours. I was on Methotrexate and sulfasalazine at the time.

      1. I also took the second dose of moderna,and my SI, hips, and lumbar have all become very stiff and painful. I dont know if I am having a flare or if the vaccine triggered it, but it is very painful and preventing me from functioning. I am excited to be protected against COVID and I still think it is worth it, but this sucks. Has anyone else had this experience?

      2. I didn’t have my si/lumbar/pelvis triggered from the vaccine, but it is one of my worst areas. An SI support belt has been a super helpful tool to help, that I wish I’d known about earlier. Hopefully that area’s stiffness and pain subsides quick for you.

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