Should people with lupus get the COVID-19 booster vaccines

 In Home Page Articles, Links to Lupus News

By Robert S Katz MD, Chairman of the Board of the Lupus Society of Illinois

The COVID-19 vaccines are effective, including a booster dose, in vulnerable lupus patients, including those taking immunosuppressive therapies.

An additional booster dose, or a fourth dose, is reasonable for patients with lupus, especially those on immunocompromising medications.

As a reminder, there are three COVID-19 vaccines available: Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines and require 2 doses to be considered fully vaccinated. Johnson and Johnson is an adenovirus-based vaccine and requires just one dose to be considered fully vaccinated.

A single booster dose of the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer is recommended six months after the second dose of the mRNA-based vaccine or greater than two months after a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

A single booster dose of the adenovirus-based COVID-19 Johnson and Johnson vaccine can be administered to any adult after a single primary dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or greater than six months after a series of the Pfizer or Moderna messenger RNA vaccines.

You could have a blood test to measure your COVID-19 antibody level. Many people have high antibody responses (over 2,000), but some have very low antibody responses and would benefit from a booster.

Robert S Katz, M.D.

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