RA Solutions
Comments 5

Surviving Covid-19 with RA

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.


  1. Pam says

    Like most RA patients, I’m so eager to get the 3rd vaccine. Last August I got Covid, was on a ventilator for 8 days, my grown children were asked to say their final goodbyes and then the docs did a compassionate extubation because they thought I only had 1-5 hours to live. I’m here but didn’t return home for 99 days. It’s been a hard year and I’ve fought very hard. I don’t think I could do it again. Now you know why I’m terrified of contracting any form of Covid. Be safe and stay well!


    • Pam, So happy you did survive covid-19. Thank you for your comment. It will be an inspiration to others.


  2. Kari says

    I am 7 months long covid with chronic lung problems, I was diagnosed with RA the month before I got covid. I’ve been on plaquenil and have been on prednisone many many times and was just hospitalized from a bad cold. I am vaccinated, I was just finishing prednisone also when was vaccinated. I’m confused about the eligibility. I probably should get a third vaccine but am I even eligible?
    Thank you for the post!


  3. People with immune suppressed diseases on a drug like a biologic need a third vaccine. I was on Orencia when I was immunized and had no reaction either time. I qualify. I’m sure you do too. Nothing suppresses the immune system like prednisone. It is my favorite drug as it helps my inflammation better than anything. Unfortunately, my rheumatologist hates it. So I am limited and I love my rheumatologist. Sorry for the delay. Hope you are feeling better.


    • Kari says

      Oh no worries! Thank you for helping! I’m a long hauler from the original covid unfortunately so have to think about it, got worse after the second shot but not right after. Really difficult decision. I was on a lot of prednisone recently because my airways were so bad. but oh yeah does it ever help the RA for me!!


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