COVID Vaccine for Immunocompromised Patients and What Drugs to Stop
The American College of Rheumatology Provides Guidance for stopping drugs to enhance the COVID vaccine for immunocompromised patients
How should we deal with immunosuppressants and the COVID vaccine for immunocompromised patients? In February 2021, the American College of Rheumatology released recommendations on what to do with immunosuppressant drugs around the time of your COVID-19 vaccine. The reason for these recommendations is that some of our medicines can blunt the effects of the vaccine. Timing the drug to the vaccine to your medication can make a big difference.
– Do not do any of these without asking your rheumatologist first (let them know that you did read these up to date recommendations here)
– I also recommend these to my patients who get any vaccine, IF they are in remission or at low risk of flaring when they get the vaccine (again, do not do this without talking to your rheumatologist first)
The link to the full recommendations is below at the bottom of the post.
Drug recommendations summary:
What I am doing in my practice regarding immunosuppressants and vaccines to include COVID vaccines in immunocompromised patients :
Other important recommendations from the ACR:
- There is no preference of getting one vaccine over another (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J, AstraZeneca): Get whatever is available for you
- After receiving vaccines, there is NO requirement for lab testing to assess the response to the vaccine.
- Ask all household members, friends and loved-ones to get vaccinated to protect you (the cocoon effect)
- If you don’t believe in the vaccine, get vaccinated at least to protect those you love (Dr. Thomas’ addition)
- Get vaccinated even if your disease is active
REFERENCE: ACR, COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Summary for Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Developed by the ACR COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Task Force.
This draft summary was approved by the ACR Board of Directors on February 8, 2021.. A full manuscript is pending journal peer review.