COVID-19 Vaccine Booster (3rd Dose)

**As of August 13, 2021, all patients on immunosuppressive medication qualify for a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose (booster)**

 
The CDC recommends a booster (third dose) mRNA Covid vaccine for patients currently taking any of the following medications: high-dose corticosteroids (more than prednisone 20mg/day), methotrexate, Arava (leflunomide), sulfasalazine, Imuran (azathioprine), anti-TNF medications (Enbrel, Humira, Simponi, Cimzia, Remicade), JAK inhibitors (Xeljanz, Olumiant, Rinvoq), Actemra, Orencia, Kevzara, Cosentyx, Taltz, Stelara, Benlysta, Skyrizi, or Tremfya.
At this time the CDC recommendation does not include patients on Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine), prednisone less than 20mg/day, Otezla, Prolia, Reclast, Evenity, Forteo, Tymlos, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
**There is currently no booster recommendation from the CDC for people who received the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine. However some other countries including Germany are giving mRNA boosters (Pfizer or Moderna) to everyone who received the J&J vaccine.
**The booster (third) dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should be administered at least 28 days after your second dose of the mRNA vaccine.
**The CDC currently recommends that patients stick to the same vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) for the third dose as you had for the first 2 doses, if possible. However there are clinical studies in progress in which patients are receiving the other mRNA vaccine as a booster. We do not yet know if there is any advantage or disadvantage to getting the same or a different vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) as a booster than you had for your first 2 shots.
**Booster vaccines are available at most major pharmacies and should not require any documentation.

 

We recommend delaying some medications during Covid-19 vaccination (including when you receive a booster).

Here is a list of medicines that we recommend that you 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.  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 and third doses 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.

At this time, there is no known significant difference among the vaccines in efficacy or safety.

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 doxy.me.com 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 www.cdc.gov.