Since our last blog providing guidance for the COVID-19 vaccine, we have had many calls asking if patients on disease modifying treatments, such as biologic therapies, methotrexate, leflunomide etc. should hold their dose after getting the COVID-19 vaccine for a short period of time while the body produces antibodies to the vaccine. We do not yet have the research to let us know if this would make a difference, however it is in the process of being studied. Experts from the American College of Rheumatology are developing a guidance statement in this regard based on expert opinion. We are hoping to see this in the next 2 weeks and will share it with you. In the meantime, when you next have an appointment with your specialist, it is a discussion worth having. We do not want a person to flare by delaying a dose and we also want the most benefit possible from this vaccine.
In the meantime, the Canadian Rheumatology Association along with the Canadian Arthritis Patience Alliance has developed a patient decision tool for the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to find this document, which could be helpful for all patients with autoimmune conditions.
Carolyn Whiskin is the Pharmacy Manager for Charlton Health. Carolyn specializes in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, pharmaceutical compounding, women’s health, pain and smoking cessation. Carolyn has won provincial and national awards for her commitment to patient care and public service.