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On Friday, December 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the approval of the first vaccine for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Several other vaccine candidates are currently being developed and tested, and multiple vaccines may become available in the weeks and months ahead. In the days to come, myRAteam will reach out to specialists to find out what this means for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Members of myRAteam share a variety of viewpoints regarding a COVID-19 vaccine. “I can hardly wait for the vaccine to come out,” wrote one member. “I will be first in line!”
Others expressed more caution. “I know for sure I won't take it when it first comes out,” said another. “But if it proves to be safe, then I will be in line to get mine.”
Your rheumatologist knows all the details of your RA, the treatments you take, and other aspects of your health history. This makes them the best source for guidance as you weigh the benefits and risks associated with the vaccine. Many myRAteam members are already talking to their RA care teams about COVID vaccines. “I had a chat with my rheumatology nurse about the vaccine today,” reported a member.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is reviewing clinical trial data on the COVID-19 vaccine to determine whether to recommend it and, if so, who should take it. The ACIP will consider factors like age, underlying medical conditions, race, and ethnicity. With vaccines on the way, people living with rheumatoid arthritis will need accurate information to make decisions about being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Here is what is known so far:
Many questions remain unanswered about COVID-19 vaccines, and myRAteam will be reaching out to RA specialists to find out the following:
Over the weeks to come, myRAteam will provide updates as we learn more about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines for people with rheumatoid arthritis, including those taking DMARDs.
Members of myRAteam discuss their hopes and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Here are a few recent conversations:
What questions do you have about COVID-19 vaccines? Share them in the comments below.
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