Shielding Query: Does whether you’re advised to shield... - NRAS


30,747 members37,064 posts

Shielding Query


Does whether you’re advised to shield or not depend on your RA diagnosis or the medications you take for it? I’m asking because I had a letter originally, then a letter telling me to ignore the first letter. I had to stop taking the usual DMARDS due to intolerances which just left me with my IM Depo-Medrone steroid jabs every 3 months. I’m confused. Are the people who are shielding on biologics? I’m not concerned, just interested.

I had my first AstraZeneca Covid jab on Tuesday, funnily enough in a closed down Chinese restaurant (someone did say, did you want another one half an hour later 🤣). Actually, there was a fish & chip shop next door doing a roaring trade. Nic xx

6 Replies

It’s much more nuanced than that and essentially ‘points based’, with the need to shield depending on a combination of regular meds, steroid use, age, and any other underlying comorbidities a person has. I take 2 DMARDs considered immunosupressing for covid vulnerability purposes, and was taking prolonged oral steroids at the start of the pandemic, so initially met shielding requirements on the grounds of the steroids alone. Since then, though, I’ve remained CEV because in addition to the 2 DMARDs, I also have a non-rheumatological comorbidity that bumps my risk points up. This may change further for some people with the new modelling that takes other socioeconomic factors into account alongside age and clinical vulnerabilities, but the existing point system is as follows:

I think most steroid jabs are the equivalent of no more than 5mg steroid a day...

Hi helixhelix. How are you? OK, I hope. We’ve just not been going anywhere anyway although have been home schooling the grandchildren. That’s been fun for my husband but I’ve had to retire to bed most afternoons, absolutely knackered. I’ve never been so ill since my failed back op in September. At least the nights are lighter & things are growing in the garden. Surely things must improve now? Nic xx

I've had repeat letters to shield and am not on biologics. I'm on azathioprine (an old-fashioned DMARD) and usually 5mg prednisolone. It does seem to depend a bit on interpretation by the clinicians for those of us on less well established regimes.

But unless you need the letter for work, it doesn't really matter. You can choose your own level of behaviour!

And you've had your first vaccine so no need to worry about missing out there.

Hi oldtimer. I’m not worried, just wonder what a mess our medical records are in, especially if you’ve moved around so much like I have. My recent medical record diagnoses RA in 2020, when I was diagnosed in around 2005. It’s all rather hit & miss. Hope you’re OK. Nic xx

Hi Nic, love the restaurant joke , you made me laugh x 😀

You may also like...