Those with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to become ill with covid-19 and they are more likely to be hospitalized or die. In addition, if you are on an immune suppressing biologic your covid-19 vaccine will only be about 65% effective as opposed to the 95% coverage most people enjoy.
The reason that a third vaccine will soon be available to those who are immune compromised is because those hospitalized with breakthrough infections are from the immune compromised group. This is not a booster shot. It is a third vaccine. Those with RA who are on an immune suppressing biologic will be eligible.
Although those who had RA were included in the vaccine studies, those with RA who were on biologics were disqualified from participating. So, there was no data on the effect of immune suppressing drugs such as the biologics on the effect of the vaccine. The vaccine is safe for those with RA. Protection from the virus is limited for those on the biologics. It has been found that those with RA who were on the biologics did not build the antibodies for 95% coverage.
It is important to be immunized. We are thankful to immunizations for the eradication of polio and smallpox. We can also be grateful for the covid-19 vaccine. Those who are vaccinated are not the ones dying in our hospitals with the virus. Be vaccinated and be safe. When the third vaccine is available, be sure to get it.
It is important to continue to wear masks. They do work. N95 masks are now available to the general public. They offer the best protection. This is what my son and I use. We also keep hand sanitizer in the car for use when we are out.
Double mask cloth masks. Double mask a cloth mask with a surgical mask. Do not double mask a N95 mask. Wash cloth masks. Avoid touching the front of your mask. Be sure you have a good fit, and you will be fine.
It is wise to be immunized and to wear masks. We have no idea if the people we encounter are immunized or if they are carriers of the virus in their noses. There are health care workers who haven’t been immunized. The VA requires employees to be immunized. Many corporations are doing the same. This is the trend, and we will all benefit from it.