Best Rheumatologist In Winston Salem Nc – Providing state-of-the-art medical and educational services to assist patients in the fight against rheumatic and rheumatic diseases.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has changed our health and our lives. Health experts agree that masks/face coverings, physical distancing, frequent hand washing and isolation after exposure to the virus or showing symptoms help limit transmission. A vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus would be another way to reduce the number of cases and deaths and help eradicate the epidemic. This leaflet is intended primarily for patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have autoimmune diseases and/or are taking medicines to suppress the immune system.
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More than 50 human vaccines are currently available, with more than a hundred in other stages of development. Although vaccines are used in other countries, as of 12/15/2020 there is no FDA-approved vaccine against COVID in the United States. However, the FDA granted Pfizer/Biontech’s vaccine an emergency use authorization (EUA) in December 2020, allowing it to be used during public health emergencies related to pandemics. Although the EUA process is faster than standard FDA approval, there will be enough safety and efficacy data to ensure the vaccine is suitable for the general public.
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Genetic materials: This is a new vaccine technology. The vaccine injects the genetic sequence of the virus into your body’s cells to create immunity. This vaccine is unlikely to cause COVID. The Pfizer/Biontech vaccine approved by the FDA for EUA uses this technology, as does the Moderna vaccine candidate. Pfizer/Biontech’s vaccine requires two doses separated by 21 days to be fully effective, while Moderna’s vaccine candidate requires two doses separated by 28 days. Early reports indicate that the vaccination is over 90% effective, with very mild side effects such as fever, pain in the arm at the injection site and fatigue. The FDA will continue to monitor adverse effects after the EUA authorizes the vaccine on a wider scale. There was no direct comparison between the two vaccines during the EUA period.
Have these vaccines been studied in patients with an autoimmune disease? Pfizer’s vaccine excluded patients treated with immunosuppressive drugs, but included 118 people with so-called “rheumatic disease.” We hope to announce more information soon.
Are vaccines safe for people with autoimmune diseases? There are no live virus vaccines that are close to approval – this is limited to patients on immunosuppressive drugs. Some vaccines use adjuvants (adjuvants) to boost the immune system to provide protection against the virus. There is a theoretical concern that this immune stimulation could lead to an increase in autoimmune diseases, but vaccines are not yet approved.
Do vaccines work in patients with autoimmune disease? Taking immunosuppressive drugs can sometimes reduce the effectiveness of already approved vaccines because the drugs can reduce the overall activity of the immune system – we don’t yet know the best time to vaccinate with immunosuppressive doses for COVID vaccines.
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Although uncommon, some patients have been infected with SARS-Co-V-2. We don’t yet know how long the protection from the vaccine will last. Volunteers in vaccine trials show antibodies 3 months after dosing (evidence of protection), but we do not know what level of antibodies is required to maintain protection against infection.
You probably know that the US government provides free COVID vaccines to patients regardless of insurance. The government works with manufacturers to distribute vaccines through state and local health departments, hospitals and chain pharmacies. Primary care providers, other essential care providers, and high-risk patients will have different stages of distribution, allowing them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or vaccines earlier than the general public. Your rheumatologist will likely administer the injection in their office.
We understand that this is a complex issue. Of course, you can make a virtual or personal appointment for a consultation with a rheumatologist. You can also talk to other members of your healthcare team. There is a lot of information on the internet, some accurate and some inaccurate. Trusted sources include the CDC and the New York Times. As with most information about COVID-19, we expect vaccine recommendations to evolve rapidly as we learn more details. Stay tuned for updates.
Note: This is for reference only. It is intended to provide general guidance, is not legal advice and is not a statement of a standard of care. This document does not address any federal, state, or local laws or requirements that may apply to you.