“COVID-19 vaccine safe for patients with rheumatic diseases”

Katherine Trujillo Useche

Latin Agency for Medical and Public Health News

It was a challenge for the whole world to cope with their illnesses during this period of COVID-19 and closure, not only that they made a change in their daily lives, but also a new way to control their pain in pandemic periods.

In an exclusive interview for Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Oscar Soto Raíces, rheumatologist, medical director of Mindful Rheumatix and the clinical research center Mindful Medical Research, spoke about the various difficulties that can arise in vaccinating rheumatic patients, about fears about that these patients have in front of COVID-19.

For rheumatologist Soto, the arrival of the pandemic was another learning experience, as he continued to work on various investigations and treatments during it and, with it, it was found that some rheumatism patients have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection, he says. that those at greatest risk are patients with autoimmune inflammatory conditions, but what has been seen is that if a rheumatic patient has more comorbidities, either cardiovascular or lung disease, they may be more severe if the person is infected with COVID-19.

“When I talk about rheumatic diseases that involve so many lethal diseases, despite the fact that there is always a degree of inflammation in the joints or tissues, some conditions such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and other inflammatory arthritis, the degree of inflammation is not so great , but In rheumatoid arthritis, in psoriatic arthritis, lupus is already born from a lack of regulation of the immune system, for this we use immunomodulators or immunosuppressants in some cases to control the immune system that has lost regulation and using these drugs we feared in the beginning since it changed ”. The doctor explains.

Medications for rheumatic patients help in the stages of infection

The doctor clarifies that the drugs that rheumatism patients take do not make them more vulnerable to infection, it was found that biological treatments that are immunosuppressive, in general, do not put the patient at a higher risk of suffering from COVID-19.

“What I learned with the arrival of COVID-19 is that the infected patient goes through stages that are generally 3 different stages: the initial stage after exposure, which are the first 7 days, in this stage the virus can replicate itself, can cause some symptoms , and what I saw at that stage is that if the patient is to be treated, he is given an antiviral or an antibody that attacks the virus. In the second stage after the 7th day, the patient may already have symptoms and markers of systemic inflammation and this is interesting because they are the same markers of inflammation in patients with rheumatic disease and if this is not controlled, the patient would stage 3 could enter and in this stage different drugs were used, the same ones we use for rheumatic patients ”, adds Dr. Soto.

Some patients who are undergoing biological treatments, such as immunosuppressants, may even be protected from COVID-19 transmission to some extent, the doctor clarifies that this does not mean that all patients undergoing biological treatments will be protected.

Vaccine for patients with rheumatic diseases

The rheumatologist ensures that the various vaccines in the approval stage are safe for rheumatic patients, especially for patients with biological treatments, which means that none of these vaccines are attenuated in life, so patients with these diseases can be vaccinated.

“All vaccines can have some side effect and the truth is what is expected and has happened with other vaccines, because they are a reaction of the immune system, so it creates antibodies against COVID-19, but what could happen to patients who biological treatments follow, but depending on the biological type, the response to the vaccine may be diminished, but it does not mean that it will not work, but rather that the response is lower “, the doctor indicates.

Patients with rheumatic diseases are advised to consult with a specialist in advance to indicate what is best for them, but the expert clarifies that everyone should be vaccinated, if something happens, there is an expert staff to or in front of people who are vaccinated, who will not endanger the patient if something happens.