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RA and Covid vaccines

I am interested in learning about the different side effects Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines possibly have on RA patients. My doctor happens to be on the conservative side and she shared with me that vaccines can cause RA situation to be worse, not just a flare temporarily. She suggests I only take Johnson & Johnson since the technology is very trustworthy and it may have a less strong negative impact on RA patients. Pfizer and Moderna are simply too much for RA patients. She now got me concerned. Would love to hear what others think about this subject and the experiences of other RA patients who have already taken the vaccines. Thanks.

  1. Hangwu31: I would never want to disagree with your doctor. That person knows your case the very best and is the very best source of advice. I can say that after consultation with my rheumatologist we agreed that he felt I should take the first one I could get. I did and I and I had the Pfizer vaccine. I had no issue with the first one and some minor issues with the second (fatigue for about six hours the day after).

    Again however it is very important that you first and foremost follow the advice of your doctor. Would mine say the same to you if you were his patient? there is no way to know for certain of course.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I had been wanting to take Pfizer myself until I saw my RA doctor 2 days ago. I am not sure I agree with her since vaccine is new and not much data has been collected as to what is the best for RA patients. Congratulations for being fully vaccinated!

  2. My rheumatologist, who is widely regarding in the field, urged me to get whichever vaccine I could get first. Period. The consequences of NOT getting a vaccine, given my age an immunosuppressant history, would likely be dire.

    California didn't give you an option to choose. You took what was available. I had Pfizer. I know a number of people with autoimmune diseases who also had Pfizer and they have no complaints. In fact, in discussing this on other RA boards, we're all just happy we got A vaccine.

    1. The key is your current physician may be more aware of your current RA status and med regimen. There are timing guidelines based on biologic and other medications. Keep researching and weighing the best options for you personally - I believe you are en route to the best decision for you!
      I received my first Pfizer dose and tolerated it very well, maybe a little fatigue. My second is due soon and I'm hoping it goes as smoothly. My Rheum, another consulting Rheum and 2 physician sons (both work with immunosuppressed) all encouraged me to get the first vaccine available. Personally, I was pleased that it was Pfizer - somewhat lower rate of side effects after the second shot than the Moderna.
      With Hope and Best Wishes, Jo (moderator)

      1. Thanks so much for your feedback. Will you be kind enough to keep us posted as how you do with the second Pfizer vaccine! Wishing you a smooth experience!! Best wishes!

    2. I got my 2nd Pfizer shot yesterday. I really did not know what to expect! I am mid-flare, 5 weeks post op and bouncing back from travel last week. I was willing to go through some discomfort for safety and wanted to finish the series so I can start a new biologic soon. But, I did worry I was set up for a rough 24 hours. It went pretty darn good! Before bed last night I felt like I may be getting a fever. I took an NSAID and the night went well. I woke up feeling a little more flared but not much. I came home from PT tired and achy. Had a snack, acetaminophen and a nap and woke up feeling much better. I'm so glad I'm done! Good luck to everyone deciding or already in process. With Hope and Best Wishes, Jo (moderator)

      1. Thank you for sharing! So glad the second shot went well for you and you are now fully vaccinated. Stay well!

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