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Vaccine hope dashed for those on immunosuppressant medication for RA

I was listening to BBC look east programme this evening when a question was asked about will the vaccine work on those of us on immunosuppressant medication to control our RA. To my dismay Dr Chris Smith from Cambridge said that the vaccine will not work for us. So what now?


  • LilymaryLilymary Member Posts: 743

    That’s not what you’d want to hear😕

  • Mike1Mike1 Member Posts: 1,325
    edited 17. Nov 2020, 04:05

    There are other vaccines being developed and it has been explained that they all work slightly differently and nobody yet knows whether people have to have one vaccine or several shots or a combination. It is too early to start getting wound up by it, just stay home and keep away from people if possible. (Normal life for me anyway!)

  • stickywicketstickywicket Member Posts: 26,005

    What now? We wait. As Mike so wisely wrote, there will be other vaccines even if these two are unsuitable for us. My hopes are not dashed. I'm used to arthritis causing deviations to my plans. I never expected it to be all over by Christmas (Isn't that what soldiers in WW1 were told in 1914?) We just have to wait and carry on shielding. (Now that was the Carry On film they never made😉) As Longfellow wrote in A Psalm of Life:

    "Let us, then, be up and doing,

       With a heart for any fate;

    Still achieving, still pursuing,

       Learn to labor and to wait.:"

    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • BettyMacBettyMac Member Posts: 165

    I’ve yet to hear a definitive explanation about covid vaccines for the immunosuppressed.

    If vaccines don’t work for us, why do they bother giving us an annual flu shot?

    I reckon vaccination might give us some benefit, only it might be more like sending round the village Bobbie rather than the Flying Squad 😉

    There’s been some research in Germany showing that older people, whose immune systems don’t work as efficiently as those of young people, had quite good levels of antibodies and T cells following trials with Covid vaccine.

    There is hope that something will work for us and any small protection is a win as far as I’m concerned. I’ll happily trot along if invited to attend.

    In the meantime, I will carry on being sensible and not exposing myself to unnecessary risk.

    There’s new research going on behind the scenes and trials in Manchester are ongoing re an antibody injection. This isn’t vaccination per se but might give us some extra help, if it works.


    Stay safe and well!

  • stickywicketstickywicket Member Posts: 26,005

    The header says 'Update' but the article says, basically, there's no update🙃

    We carry on carrying on😉

    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • BrynmorBrynmor Administrator Posts: 922

    Vaccines for COVID-19 – your questions answered

    Versus Arthritis has issued a Q&A today on the the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and covers some of the concerns we all have regarding immunisation:

  • trepolpentrepolpen Member Posts: 500

    spoke to my consultant yesterday about the vaccine , even though we had the virus back in April we did not show any antibodies through the Roche test

    As for the vaccine , he said it changes every day if we can have it , to do with if its a live vaccine ,

    the pfizer they put a preservatives in that can cause a reactions , similar to what they used to use in some biologics like Enbrel , the preservative called Sulfites

  • YvonneHYvonneH Administrator Posts: 574


    Latest news is that anyone with a history of an allergic reaction or who carry an adrenaline autoinjector should not be given the vaccine, so far no news for those who are on immunosuppresent medication

    Yvonne x

  • stickywicketstickywicket Member Posts: 26,005

    Australia seems to be more upfront.

    "Because vaccines are tested in healthy populations first, immunocompromised people were also excluded from the Astra-Zeneca and Moderna phase 3 trials, which means safety and efficacy data in these groups is limited.

    This doesn't mean people who are immunocompromised will be excluded from getting COVID-19 vaccines — it just means health authorities and regulators may wait for further safety data (which is now being collected in clinical trials) before they recommend immunisation to these groups.

    According to Bruce Thompson, dean of health sciences at Swinburne University, Australia is in a fortunate position in that it has more time to consider the data.

    "We're lucky in Australia that we don't have a lot of the virus, so we can wait a little bit … and hopefully some of this science catches up," he said.

    Professor Thompson added that it was possible the dosing regime might be slightly different for people who are immunocompromised, but that they would very likely be eligible for vaccination."

    This is from https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-12-17/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccines-who-will-be-immunised/12989514

    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken

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