PMR and Corona Virus (COVID-19) vaccine

Posted by ncgal @ncgal, Nov 19, 2020

Just wondering if anyone has found out if it is okay to get the corona virus vaccine once it comes out. I’m 78, so past the 65+ age for early vaccinations, plus having the autoimmune diagnosis. I don’t see my rheumatologist for another two months but guess I’ll call him to find out if t comes to that. Just thought I’d see if anyone else has found out. I had no problem with the flu shot.

that's the question on my list when I see my rheumatologist next week.. I've heard one comment that we should not have a live vaccine when taking prednisone.

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On the form I filled out for the shingles vaccine, the question asked was whether you were taking more than 20 mg of prednisone. I was on 6 at the time. I didn’t have problems with flu shot or 2nd shingles shot. I did talk about it earlier this month with rheumatologist, but of course no information was out then. Sure hope we can get vaccination. I want to have family in my house again. And maybe travel????

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This is a great question. Keep us posted! It's my understanding that the Pfizer vaccine is not a live vaccine, not a dead vaccine either. But an entirely new approach using our own genetic RNA to build our own virus busting antibodies and as such are better and safer opening the door to the future of vaccines. I told my rheumy I want this thing in my arm ASAP. I only hope the sorry anti-vaxers will zip it up and let our amazing scientists and virologists do their jobs.

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@dmsbronch

This is a great question. Keep us posted! It's my understanding that the Pfizer vaccine is not a live vaccine, not a dead vaccine either. But an entirely new approach using our own genetic RNA to build our own virus busting antibodies and as such are better and safer opening the door to the future of vaccines. I told my rheumy I want this thing in my arm ASAP. I only hope the sorry anti-vaxers will zip it up and let our amazing scientists and virologists do their jobs.

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Hear,Hear!!!

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In reply to @irishdancer "Hear,Hear!!!" + (show)
@irishdancer

Hear,Hear!!!

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Exactly.

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Actually I have discussed vaccines and Prednisone with my rheumatologist. Current thinking is that a dose of 20 mg or less per day is considered safe for a flu vaccine. That was confirmed by a study done in Scandinavia. Above that level, discuss with your treater. It probably will make a difference depending upon the type of corona virus vaccine that are approved, but it seems logical that if it’s safe to take the live virus for prevention of influenza at 20 mg or less, the same would be true for COVID. Always best to confer with your doctor though, since all new vaccines will be slightly different from each other and some based on completely new technologies.

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I’m not anti-vaccine but I’m going to wait awhile. While the efficacy is great, I want to see any side effects before taking it. We just don’t know of any long-term side effects. For every drug advertised on tv there is a litany of disclaimers. I haven’t seen any from either Pfizer or Moderna.

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@igolf

I’m not anti-vaccine but I’m going to wait awhile. While the efficacy is great, I want to see any side effects before taking it. We just don’t know of any long-term side effects. For every drug advertised on tv there is a litany of disclaimers. I haven’t seen any from either Pfizer or Moderna.

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The package insert that comes with the vaccine will set forth all the warnings and known side effects. So far they appear to be mild (sore arm, some headache) and 6 reported anaphylactic shock out of more than a million doses. Assuming that’s all accurately reported, it should be very safe. And yes, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are “messenger DNA”, meaning they don’t have live or inactivated virus but rather a synthetic that has been modified to deliver the message to our immune system for help, and it is actually our own system that knocks out the coronavirus. It should be safe but best to get it where a professional is standing by in case of shock (which can be managed by epinephrine and adrenaline if necessary). For me, I’m taking it as I see it as a better risk than getting COVID.

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I am a hospital pharmacist working on COVID-19 units who got PMR after my 2nd Shingrex vaccine. So I've been on the fence whether to get the vaccine or not. I'm down to 2 mg Prednisone after starting in March. I sure don't want a flare up of PMR but I see the severe illness that COVID-19 can cause. I'm encouraged with the roll out that no serious side effects have been seen yet. I likely will get it when the hospital offers it in the near future

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@briand3960

I am a hospital pharmacist working on COVID-19 units who got PMR after my 2nd Shingrex vaccine. So I've been on the fence whether to get the vaccine or not. I'm down to 2 mg Prednisone after starting in March. I sure don't want a flare up of PMR but I see the severe illness that COVID-19 can cause. I'm encouraged with the roll out that no serious side effects have been seen yet. I likely will get it when the hospital offers it in the near future

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Thanks for your insights Brian. I too feel my PMR was induced by the shingrix vaccine. I went undiagnosed for too long. I’ve been on the fence on the vaccine too.
I’m at 10.5, since I had a strong relapse and had GCA symptoms appear, so I had to ramp back up to 15… going very slowly down.
I’m over 65… so likely not on the list for a couple of months. I’m feeling as though I should take the vaccine. Let’s all keep the conversation going.
Btw, my husband who is healthcare person/ scientist at a VA hospital, is in a drug trial for a single dose vaccine made by Jannsen. ( J& J). It is an adenovirus type of vaccine. Not sure when/ if it will become available.

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Hello, folks. I'm another GCA patient. Regarding the Covid vaccine, I've been under the impression that I shouldn't have it
because my WBC and neutrophils keep crashing, and therefore my immune system is very compromised. I haven't checked with my medical team yet though. Are any of you in this same situation, and if so, have your doctors still okayed your hope to get the vaccine? I did have the regular flu shot in the Fall.
I'm not on Prednisone anymore, after 1 1/2 years, but am now on Actemra injections. They were weekly but because my WBC and neutrophils keep falling, I'm now bi-weekly IF the lab work is ok. Lab work is done weekly, or twice a week if results are falling. It's a real dance!

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@artist01

Hello, folks. I'm another GCA patient. Regarding the Covid vaccine, I've been under the impression that I shouldn't have it
because my WBC and neutrophils keep crashing, and therefore my immune system is very compromised. I haven't checked with my medical team yet though. Are any of you in this same situation, and if so, have your doctors still okayed your hope to get the vaccine? I did have the regular flu shot in the Fall.
I'm not on Prednisone anymore, after 1 1/2 years, but am now on Actemra injections. They were weekly but because my WBC and neutrophils keep falling, I'm now bi-weekly IF the lab work is ok. Lab work is done weekly, or twice a week if results are falling. It's a real dance!

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I have had WBC and neutrophil counts and they have been low for over 15 years. I don’t have GCA, but currently on my 3rd bout of PMR, currently working on reducing prednisone from 5 to 4 milligrams. I have seen 2 hematologists (changed jobs and health care systems so got work-up in both). A cause for low WBC never found, so now just monitor 2 times a year. During this time, I have had yearly flu shots, 2 Shingrix shots, DPT with no problems. I am more scared of Covid than vaccine.

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