Coronavirus Immunization Information
- Information regarding the vaccine and its effectiveness and other issues specific to rheumatic diseases and treatments is evolving and the notes below are based on limited current information available. We will update this information as we receive additional guidance.
- For patients on immunosuppressive treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases, there is insufficient data to determine whether being on this type of treatment at the time the vaccination is received will cause the vaccine to be less effective than in people not taking immunosuppressive medications. No formal recommendations have been issued regarding interruption of immunosuppressive treatment around the time of the vaccination, and for that reason we are not recommending any alteration in treatment around the time of vaccination except as noted in #5.
- While there have been no concerning reports to suggest that the vaccination can cause a worsening of a pre-existing autoimmune disease, no specific data regarding this has been published.
- At this time, with very few exceptions, we recommend that all of our patients receive the coronavirus vaccination when it is available to them. While there are some unknowns related to the vaccination, it appears that the potential benefit from the vaccination outweighs any actual or theoretical risks for receiving the vaccination based on our current understanding.
- Patients receiving treatment with rituximab should not receive the coronavirus vaccination for several months following a rituximab treatment, as it is unlikely that the vaccination will be effective in that setting. Patients receiving prednisone in doses over 7 mg./day, should contact us prior to receiving the vaccination.
- In February 2021, guidelines were issued that include recommendations for timing or interuption of certain medications around the time of receiving this vaccination. Please check with us regarding your medication dosing schedule around the time of your vaccination.
- We do not currently have the vaccine available in this office. You might want to contact your primary care doctor's office or your pharmacy to check for availability. Vaccination providers may be located on this map as well: https://tdem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=3700a84845c5470cb0dc3ddace5c376b.
Update on January 13: https://covid19.austintexas.gov/s/?language=en_US Use this link to go to the Austin Public Health vaccine registration page. They are receiving a large supply and starting a large scale vaccination program.
Chain pharmacies (CVS, HEB, etc) will have supplies at some point. Local pharmacies including 38th Street Pharmacy, Tarrytown Pharmacy and Lamar Plaze Pharmacy have programs as well. Some of these pharmaicies have websites that are taking names for contact once they receive a supply.
Larger clinics and medical groups such as ARC, ADC, Baylor Scott and White and Ascension will be good sources at some point but may or may not restrict to serving established patients.
All are struggling to stay supplied currently.
Update January 21:
There are two designated vaccine “hubs” in Austin that will likely get the bulk of the distribution the next few weeks:
February 1 Update:
The two sites above are hubs receiving vaccine this week but other sites are also receiving vaccine supplies this week. The web address below should take you to the Texas Department of Health Services map that identifies sites currently supplied with vaccine.