Living with arthritis, or a rheumatological condition, does not mean you are unable to get vaccinated. Vaccines are usually recommended for people living with arthritis, but it is important to always speak with your doctor.
People with arthritis, particularly inflammatory or autoimmune types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and lupus) often suffer infections which can be prevented by vaccination.1 If vaccinated, you will be less likely to get the infection you’ve been vaccinated against. Even if you are infected, it is more likely to be a milder illness.1
People with non-inflammatory forms of arthritis (such as osteoarthritis) often also live with (or are at risk of) other chronic health conditions, which can increase someones risk of serious illness from some types of infections.
The COVID-19 vaccine
Neither of the vaccines are a ‘live’ vaccine that could make you ill.2 Both are safe for people whose immune system may not be strong.2
Trials for the vaccine in children are still underway, so it is generally not recommended for children under 16.2 Please speak with your rheumatologist for individual advice.
The Australian Rheumatology Association have provided some great advice about COVID-19 vaccination for rheumatology patients.
Get more information
Below is some further reading on vaccines for people living with arthritis. Remember, vaccines and rheumatology are a complex area so always speak to your doctor or specialist before receiving a vaccine.
1. Vaccinations in Rheumatology Patient information (Published February 2021). Australian Rheumatology Association. https://rheumatology.org.au/patients/documents/ARAAApatientinformationvaccinationsFeb21.pdf
2. COVID-19 Vaccination for Rheumatology Patients (Published January 2021). Australian Rheumatology Association. https://rheumatology.org.au/members/documents/20210125%20COVID%20vaccination%20for%20Rheum%20Patients%20-%20Jan21.pdf
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