Sulphasalazine and COVID jab : Hi has anyone on just... - NRAS


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Sulphasalazine and COVID jab


Hi has anyone on just sulphasalazine for RA been offered the COVID jab yet? I’ve been told to wait till they’re doing group 9 as RA itself isn’t enough to put me into group 6. Is this everyone else’s experience? NRAS said they think this is wrong and that RA alone is a underlying health condition putting us at risk regardless of what drugs we take so should be in group 6. Feeling so confused! Don’t want to cause a fuss or make a nuisance of myself with the docs but wondering if everyone has found the same.

19 Replies

There’s some good links and advice on a post made yesterday by Funny-Bones - Covid Vaccine Eligibility. Hope these will help you.

CJ46 in reply to Blueskysunshine

Thanks for that, yes that was a very interesting post! I guess all gps are interpreting the government information differently. Still not sure whether to make a fuss about being left off the list or just wait till they get round to 52yr olds🥺

helixhelix in reply to CJ46

You’re not making a fuss. You are just asking to be treated according to agreed guidelines. That is for everyone’s safety. Give a copy of the guidelines I posted yesterday to your GP.

allanah in reply to helixhelix

I agree take the guidelines xx good luck

CJ46 in reply to helixhelix

Yes thanks for your post yesterday that was very useful. I’ve emailed my gp with this info now, just got to wait if they reply or just ignore me

I think that the NHS list puts RA in Group 6; I looked at it a while ago to see when hubby was likely to be called and he's got his next week - he's in Group 6 because of having had a stroke.

It depends how eager you are and how quickly things are moving in your area but you might find that you can book online at one of the bigger centres if your GP isn't helpful.

I think it’s because a lot of RA drugs suppress the immune system.. Sulphasalazine does not count as one of these... also some people have additional comorbiditys

But from what I recall from the NRAS table having RA does put you at higher risk...maybe you are ‘Clinically vulnerable’ rather than ‘Clinically Extremely vulnerable’ .... I would email your Rheumatologist as they will know better than your GP..whatever their response you’ll feel better knowing x

Hi CJ46, I'm in the same boat as you. I'm on sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine, plus I have moderate asthma. I've just emailed my rheumatologist to verify about being in group 6 and I'm waiting for a reply.

My gp surgery aren't giving out the vaccine and have big signs all over their website saying not to call asking about the vaccine. They don't even have an email service, so that's helpful...

Also I had an appointment with the new gp partner the other week for something else and he actually asked me if I'd ever seen a rheumatologist for an official diagnosis. Um, what? Did you even look at my medical records??? Not sure how he thinks I've been getting my meds for the last few years....

Chrissycl in reply to mjrminor

I emailed our area ccg about which group I was in. Didnt get an answer but 2 days later got my appointment

CJ46 in reply to Chrissycl

That’s great advice thanks, I’ll try that.

Oh that’s really interesting although I’m sorry you’re in the same boat! Will be very interested to know what you’re rheumys say. I don’t have an email I can contact them on so haven’t been able to ask them as they understandably don’t want to take any calls that aren’t urgent but would love to know what they’re take on it is. I’ve had a new gp doctor assigned to me coincidentally during this lockdown so I’ve never met him just had a brief telephone conversation where he told me he knew nothing about rheumatoid arthritis! Very encouraging! Like yours I don’t suppose he knows what meds I’m taking or their implications 🤣, it makes you lose faith in the system a bit doesn’t it. Anyway good luck and I’d love to hear how you get on.

mjrminor in reply to CJ46

Oh my. Maybe our gps went to the same dubious medical school?? I just email my hospitals general rheumatology department and they pass it on to my rheumy. If you cant find the email address you could always find the rheumatology phone number on your hospital website and try calling/asking for the email address. My old gp gave it to me before he left. Good luck! I'll post here and let you know what I hear back.

mjrminor in reply to mjrminor

Hi CJ. I got a call today offering me the vaccine. My rheumy didn't reply to my email but I'm guessing this was thanks to her. Hope you've managed to get somewhere with your vaccine too.

CJ46 in reply to mjrminor

That’s good news, hope all goes well. I did finally manage to speak to my rheumy yesterday and they said they’re not including RA patients on sulphasalazine in group 6 in North Devon even though some parts of the uk are. That said there haven’t been any deaths of RA patients in this part of Devon since the start so feeling happier to wait till my age group ie 9 as the risk seems to be pretty low here anyway. The GP still hasn’t made any comment but no surprise there 🤣. Thank goodness we have these rheumatoid specialists looking out for us.

mjrminor in reply to CJ46

Glad you're feeling happier about it all after speaking to your rheumy. Group 9 isn't too far away, and you'll be vaccinated before everyone is properly set loose again. 😊

Well on a leaflet from Covid centre when had jab Rheumatoid Arthritis is mentioned in at risk category 6 ... hope this helps x

Gov UK website explain all the vaccination groups and phases very clearly and list the conditions that are considered clinically vulnerable in group 6. Extremely clinically vulnerable people (got NHS shielding letter) are in group 4. Rheumatoid arthritis if you are taking immunosuppresent drugs is included in the list but I do not think sulfasalazine is considered such a drug. That said I would still plead my case with the GP as nothing is lost trying. Good luck.

I had mine last week . I'm on sulphasalazine and Barictinib but I did see RA on the list of illnesses that counted in underlying illnesses in the 16 to 64 group which is what I came under .

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