Learn how to use Mayo Clinic Connect
Request an Appointment
I filed a VAERS report online describing my experience of contracting Polymyalgia Rheumatica after receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
@scpartain, I've added your post to the COVID-19 support group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/covid-19/), too.
You were wise to report your adverse reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html
From their website:
"VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences. Anyone can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients. People should report any adverse event that occurs after the administration of a vaccine licensed in the United States, whether it is or is not clear that a vaccine caused the adverse event.
VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem, but is especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine. This way, VAERS can provide CDC and FDA with valuable information that additional work and evaluation is necessary to further assess a possible safety concern."
Jump to this post
Thank you Colleen.
I am on 2mg of prednisone for a week now, I started my treatment in September of last year. My question is when do I get the Covid vaccine and which one is the best for not upsetting the immune system? I was told that at 2mg's one can get the vaccine and many have thought that the J&J would be a better choice, having an adenovirus is that better than the other two choices. I just don't know and am curious what other participants have experienced? Also, I add to many others statements, without this website I would have felt so alone. Thank you, sincerely.
After receiving my first Pfizer vaccine, along with a sore arm for almost a week, I had the symptoms of COVID 19 for 3 days. I was right in bed for one full day. I am leery about getting the second vaccine. Any advice??
I had COVID 19 in January 2021 for a month. Was bed ridden and on oxygen for the majority of that time.
I took am grateful for this site. I have learned a lot and know that I am not alone in this. Thank you.
Hello Lynn, I would say your reaction is about typical of what I have heard for people who had the vaccine shortly after a Covid infection. It really means your immune system was doing its job, ramping up your immune defenses.
For most people, the current CDC and Pfizer recommendations are to receive the second dose as scheduled. I know the issue is being reviewed for people who had Covid and a strong reaction to the first dose, but skipping the second does is not advised at this time.
As to your personal situation, this is a question for the provider who cared for you during your bout with Covid.
Sue – I am going to address this to another of our mentors, who has more experience than I with PMR & prednisone.
@johnbishop – Hidden in the "fine print – in Sue's profile, is a mention of PMR.
Do you know the current recommendations for the Covid vaccine while on low-dose prednisone, and whether the neurologists prefer one vaccine over another for PMR?
@sue16833 and @sueinmn — My PMR is in remission and I've had both Pfizer vaccines. I found an article on a rheumatology blog by a doctor that mentions that he recommends Pfizer for his patients and family if it's available.
"The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as an intramuscular injection on day 0 and again on day 21. The full benefit from the vaccine occurs 2 weeks after the second injection.
This vaccine is not a live virus vaccine and can be given to immunocompromised patients, including patients on immunosuppressant therapy (examples include prednisone, methotrexate, and biologic DMARDs). However, currently available data does not establish safety and efficacy in immunocompromised patients. It is possible that the vaccine may not be as effective in immunocompromised patients. I recommend that my patients receive this COVID-19 vaccination when it is available locally, but continue to practice social distancing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing." — Rheumatology Solutions > Blog > Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine: https://www.arthritis-sa.com/blog/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine
Here's some info that's hard to read but seems to agree that it's OK for prednisone/PMR — Recommendations and Guidance for Steroid Injection Therapy and COVID-19 Vaccine Administration from the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience (ASPN): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7944369/
@sue16833 I, too, am on prednisone-10mg a day. I received the Pfizer vaccine at the urging of both my neurologist and oncologist, both of whom keep an eye on my immune system. I have had no problems at all. I’m sorry I don’t know all the scientific information that you probably would like, so I’ll ask @loribmt to join the conversation.
What has your doctor advised regarding the 2nd dose?
@sue16833 @becsbuddy Becky will be sorry she brought me into this conversation. LOL You’ll both need a cup of coffee and a comfy chair.
I could have reduced this to two sentences. Get the vaccine ASAP if your doctor says it’s ok. And…Pfizer. But where’s the fun in that!
Hi Sue, It’s my understanding that you’re concerned about possibly upsetting your immune system by getting the vaccine. And also which vaccine would be better for not causing a problem. Well, since I received an entirely new immune system from having a stem cell transplant I’ve really gotten an education on immunity and autoimmunity.
The immune system is your body’s army of defense against disease and infection. The entire premise of a vaccine is to initiate a response within your immune system to recognize those disease cells in the future and launch an attack. You want a response to the Covid vaccine so that your immune system can seek and destroy the virus if you’re exposed. It’s really cool to watch this happen under an electron microscope. It looks like Pac-Man! Munch munch…
So don’t be alarmed if you do have a fairly normal response to the vaccine such as a sore arm, slightly elevated temp and fatigue. It generally goes away in a day or so.
However, people with a pre-existing neurological diagnosis caused by an autoimmune condition such as PMR, PN, Shingles, etc.. can have slight autoimmune reaction. It can cause an awakening of the symptoms of their disease but is usually slight and disappears.
I had such a reaction after my first Pfizer dose. After physical evaluations from my transplant doctor, neurologist and an allergist, all 3 cleared me to get my second dose as the risk of actually getting Covid outweighed any other risk factors. They were also supportive of the Pfizer vaccine for me.
Before my 2nd vaccine, I was given a prescription for steroids. Not to take but to have on hand should my symptoms return after the 2nd dose. The doctors were not concerned that the steroids would interfere with the vaccine at all. They wanted to calm the auto immune reaction should there be one.
So for you, Sue, being on 2mg per day is very low but it may help ward off any potential issues with your PMR. ***If your doctor has given you permission to get the vaccine***it would be really in your best interest to do so as soon as possible to jumpstart your immunity! Continue on the Covid protocol of wearing a mask, hand washing, etc…
And anecdotally, from a tally of friends & relatives in my orbit, there seemed to be fewer issues from the Pfizer…for no scientific reason! They all have the same end result. Protection!
Thank you Sue. I appreciate the advice.
Create an account to connect with other patients and caregivers like you.Ask questions, get answers, and give and get support.Also follow blogs from Mayo Clinic experts.
Already have an account? Sign In