Lupus & COVID-19 Vaccinations - UPDATED 25/07/2022 - LUPUS UK


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Lupus & COVID-19 Vaccinations - UPDATED 25/07/2022

Paul_Howard profile image

Hi everyone,

We have updated our information and guidance about COVID-19 vaccines and lupus -

This update includes:

💜 Details of the autumn booster programme (including the eligibility criteria).

💜 Updates to booster eligibility for immunosuppressed people (now recommended three months after your last booster).

💜 Information about the campaign to make Evusheld available.

💜 a US study indicating that booster doses are effective in reducing COVID-19 infection in people with lupus.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

14 Replies

Hi just had a look at the update- there’s a lot to read am I correct in thinking that a lupus patient on just Hydroxychloroquine won’t get the autumn booster? Thanks

kingsnorth profile image
kingsnorth in reply to Wiley1

I have lupus but not considered immune suppressed l do take prednisone but only 2mg a week 1mg Monday and 1mg Friday l also take hydroxy 200mg daily. I have just had my 5th vaccine Moderna! My 4th was on the 19th January. If you are concerned have a word with your health provider although my lupus isn’t active it still lingers in the background. I m 71 but it was my lupus and not my age that qualified me.

Wiley1 profile image
Wiley1 in reply to kingsnorth

Thanks for the advice.

Paul_Howard profile image
Paul_HowardPartner in reply to Wiley1

Hi Wiley1,

That is my interpretation, but I have raised this with colleagues in RAIRDA and will be seeking further guidance. I hope to have a reliable answer to this before invitations for the autumn booster are issued.

Wiley1 profile image
Wiley1 in reply to Paul_Howard

Thanks so much for your help.

EG74 profile image
EG74 in reply to Paul_Howard

Hi Paul, I was diagnosed on April and take HCQ and only had the third vaccine. I’ll happy to get the 4th one. My third vaccine or first booster was on December 2021. Should I asked my GP for the 4th?

Paul_Howard profile image
Paul_HowardPartner in reply to EG74

Hi EG74,

HCQ isn't an immunosuppressant treatment. As such, the JCVI recommendations are currently that you would just need to have had your primary course (two doses) and one booster. This means that it is unlikely you would be invited for another booster at this time.

However, I am aware that some other people with lupus who are only taking HCQ have been offered the spring booster. If you are invited to have it, you can decide whether to have it. You probably won't be able to book a spring booster without being invited though.

EG74 profile image
EG74 in reply to Paul_Howard

Thank you Paul

Thanks Paul x

I'm losing track of all this now. I've had 5 jabs so far, last one 2 months and 9 days ago according to the NHS Scotland Covid Status app. I'm taking MTX and prednisolone, and am over 50 anyway. Does this mean I'm due another one in a month's time, ie 3 months after the last? Is this now going to be an every 3 months dose ad infinitum?

Oh, and the link in the article for managing and booking covid-19 vaccinations is only applicable for those who live and have a GP in England, not Scotland, Wales and NI.

Paul_Howard profile image
Paul_HowardPartner in reply to Whippet_lady

Hi Whippet_lady,

Digging into the current guidance, this is what I found for people on immunosuppressants, such as yourself:

"If your most recent dose was before 21 March 2022, we encourage you to get a further dose now. You can self-refer, and you don’t need to wait to be contacted.

If your most recent dose was after 21 March 2022, you may still need a further dose if you have or have had a severely weakened immune system. If you are in this situation, we encourage you to book a further dose from 3 months (91 days) after your previous dose, unless you have already had your spring booster."

I think, based on the last line, as you have already had your spring booster, you would not need to book a further dose. You should be invited for an autumn booster, probably from around September.

Thanks for pointing out the booking link is only for England - I've updated the article to include info for the devolved authorities too.

Thanks Paul. Will it ever end?

As an aside, all these covid jabs and breaks from MTX to improve efficacy etc got me to thinking about the flu jab - or any others we might need - because I haven't got enough to think about 🤪🙄 Would we also be better taking a 2 week MTX break for them as well?

Paul_Howard profile image
Paul_HowardPartner in reply to Whippet_lady

Hi Whippet_lady,

I know that researchers are trying to develop vaccines which will provide longer-lasting protection. I hope that, with time, vaccines will become less frequent. Time will tell.

I would recommend that you check with your doctor about pausing your MTX for any vaccines. There is a lack of consensus on the best thing to do. Whilst pausing treatment may improve vaccine efficacy, it can also increase risk of lupus flares. I think that this decision is being done on a case-by-case basis at the moment.

Hi Paul

Thanks for the information. I've been called for my 5th vaccination and am more than happy to go.

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