COVID-19 vaccine and your medications

Some medications need to be delayed during Covid-19 vaccination. Here is a list of medicines that you will need to stop briefly while receiving Covid-19 vaccination:

Methotrexate – Hold (do not take) methotrexate for 7 days after each vaccine dose. You can resume taking methotrexate on day 8 after each vaccine dose. You do not need to stop methotrexate before you receive either vaccine dose.

JAK inhibitors (Xeljanz, Olumiant, Rinvoq) – Hold (do not take) any of these medications for 7 days after each vaccine dose. You can resume taking the medication on day 8 after each vaccine dose. You do not need to stop any of these medications before you receive either vaccine dose.

Weekly injectable Orencia – It is optimal to schedule your first vaccine dose at least 7 days after your most recent Orencia dose. However, if you have just taken Orencia and a vaccine appointment becomes available sooner than 7 days later, accept the appointment and get the vaccine. After you get your first vaccine dose, hold (do not take) Orencia for 7 days. You can resume taking Orencia on day 8 after your first vaccine dose. You can take Orencia normally without interruption before and after your second dose of vaccine.

For patients coming to the office to receive IV infusions of Orencia or Rituxan, the timing of treatment and the timing of vaccination will be determined on an individual basis. Please contact Dr. Mullins, Dr. Sharma, or Dr. Goyal to discuss your infusion schedule.

For all other rheumatologic medications, you can continue taking your medication on a normal schedule without interruption during Covid vaccination. Do not stop or delay Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), Arava (leflunomide), sulfasalazine, azathioprine, prednisone, Otezla, Enbrel, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia, Remicade, Actemra, Kevzara, Cosentyx, Taltz, Stelara, Benlysta, Prolia, Reclast, Evenity, Forteo, or non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Please call if you have any questions regarding medication instructions during Covid-19 vaccination.

COVID-19 vaccination is available through county health departments, some large health systems (such as Hopkins), and some workplaces (such as hospitals, NIH). We do not have vaccines available in our office.

To obtain the vaccine, the first step is to determine your priority group for vaccination. Priority groups are determined by the county where you live. Criteria for Montgomery County residents can be found at:

For example, in Montgomery County, individuals age 75 and older are in Priority Group 1B Tier 1. For our patients with an autoimmune diagnosis (such as RA, lupus, psoriatic arthritis), or who are taking a potentially immunosuppressive medication (such as methotrexate, or biologics such as Enbrel, Humria), you are in Priority Group 1C Tier 2. You can pre-register on the county website if your priority group is not yet eligible for vaccination.

The definition of priority groups is different in other counties. Please check with your county’s website to determine your eligibility, and to register for the vaccine.

At this time, there is no known significant difference among the vaccines in efficacy or safety. We recommend that you get the first vaccine that becomes available to you.

Please contact your doctor with any questions you have about vaccination.

Welcome to the Center for Rheumatic Diseases and Osteoporosis, PA

New Covid-19 Office Policies

To our valued patients,

In order to protect our patients and staff, and as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 in the community, we have put in place several new office policies:

  • Everyone entering our office MUST WEAR a face mask.
  • Please DO NOT visit our office if you have fever, OR respiratory symptoms such as cough, OR symptoms of a gastrointestinal illness, OR if, in the past 14 days, you have had close contact with someone who has had Covid, OR if you have recently traveled to an area that has had significant Covid infection. If any of these applies, please call to reschedule your appointment or infusion, or to schedule a televisit.
  • We are offering both in-person office visits and TELEVISITS through the Healow app, or through the platform that works on any browser. Please see Office News on our website home page for more details, after you close this window, and please call our staff with any questions about televisits.
  • We are FULLY OPEN for INFUSION THERAPY without interruption, and we recommend that you continue your infusion therapy on your regular schedule.
  • For your convenience and safety, we offer CURBSIDE CHECK-IN: when you arrive in our parking garage, call the office, and the staff will let you know when your exam room or infusion chair is open and ready for you (usually there is no wait). We practice careful social distancing and frequent sterile cleaning in the infusion suite, and masks must be worn by all patients and staff at all times throughout the office, including in the infusion suite.
  • Our doctors and clinical staff have all received both Covid vaccination doses.

More details about our Covid-19 policies can be found under Office News on the home page of the website, after you close this window. We appreciate you, and value the trust you have placed in our practice in seeking medical care with us. We welcome any questions you have about any of our office policies, either by phone call, or by portal message. For more information about Covid-19 from the CDC, visit