COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATE

13 Feb 2022 10:29 AM | Anonymous

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and following the recent surge of cases in January, our Medical practitioners are continuing to get many questions from lupus warriors about vaccination for COVID-19. Here is the bottom line:

The recommendation from our Medical Team at LFJ is for all lupus patients is to be vaccinated. Here are some of the reasons:

COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe And Effective

COVID-19 vaccines can keep you from getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested and approved by local and international regulatory bodies and are critical to reducing illness, hospitalization and death associated with COVID-19.

Evidence is showing that risk of complications from COVID-19 infection may be higher in some lupus patients who are on higher doses of prednisone or take certain immunomodulatory drugs to control their disease. Many lupus patients also have co-morbid conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or heart, lung, or kidney disease which also place them at high risk for complications of COVID-19 infection. From this standpoint, the benefit greatly outweighs the small risk of post-vaccination symptoms or minor flares which are generally short-lived.

COVID-19 Vaccination Is A Safer Way To Help Build Protection

Get vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. Evidence is emerging that people get better protection by being fully vaccinated compared with having had COVID-19.

Vaccines are effective in patients with lupus, although many persons with lupus may have a weaker response to the vaccine due to impaired immune response. As of November 2021, persons who take immunosuppressive medication to control their lupus or who are on dialysis are approved for an additional dose as part of their Primary series to ensure more complete protection. You would need to provide a letter from your practitioner to access this additional dose. You can download a copy to take to your doctor and take it with you to your nearest vaccination centre. You do not need a letter to get a booster dose (6 months or more after your last dose).

None Of The COVID-19 Vaccines Can Make You Sick With COVID-19

None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.

As the immune system is stimulated to mount a protective response against COVID-19, post-vaccination symptoms such as malaise or joint pains may occur in some persons. These usually go away on their own without treatment and can be managed with rest and paracetamol. Reports of unusual clots associated with some vaccines in Europe and North American studies are very rare (4 per million persons); on the other hand, COVID-19 infection itself carries a significant risk of clotting, which can affect critical organs such as lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain, contributing to death during COVID-19 or longer-term disability following recovery. This is the reason all persons hospitalised with COVID-19 are immediately treated with blood thinners.

Once You Are Fully Vaccinated, You Can Start Doing More

After you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic.

Staying in all the time for many persons can itself have negative health effects if this results in reduced exercise or physical activity or contributes to social isolation. In addition, even if you stay home, family members who go out to work or school can still unknowingly transmit the virus to you.

If you still have questions, we encourage you to check out our previous articles such as Covid19 FAQ and our March and September episodes of Ask The Expert Live on our YouTube Page, or make contact with your doctor about your specific concerns. Just bear in mind that if you remain unvaccinated while waiting for your appointment you remain at risk of contracting – and possibly experiencing complications of - COVID-19.


References:

Jamaica Information Service https://jis.gov.jm/COVID-19-vaccination-jamaica/

American College of Rheumatology COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Summary for Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases https://www.rheumatology.org/Portals/0/Files/COVID-19-Vaccine-Clinical-Guidance-Rheumatic-Diseases-Summary.pdf


Miss Jamaica World Khalia Hall to join with Government and Medical Societies to support World Lupus Day Observance


Khalia Hall, the reigning Miss Jamaica World, is demonstrating the philosophy of Beauty with a Purpose as she lends her time and influence to the cause of Lupus Awareness.

Miss Jamaica World is one of several well-known personalities that have endorsed the efforts of the Foundation over the years to promote awareness about Lupus.  “I feel grateful to be able to use my platform as Miss Jamaica World to help the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica to raise awareness around this debilitating disease.” 

On May 10, Lupus Foundation of Jamaica will be joining in with lupus groups across the world in observance of  World Lupus Day 2022 under their own theme LUPUS LEVEL UP: Make Lupus Visible.  According to Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid, President, the campaign will have an Island wide reach through media interviews and promotions, poster displays, a social media campaign and Awareness walks dubbed “Make Strides for Lupus” across the Island and will culminate in a World Lupus Day Ceremony and mini-health fair at Emancipation Park, New Kingston, on May 10, 2022.  “We will be engaging all our members, supporters, media partners, Government, community organisations, the public at large and all our online and social media to increase awareness of lupus, specifically this year emphasising the impact of lupus on the body’s organs.”  

Ms Hall will be supporting the LUPUS LEVEL Up campaign by a video endorsement for social media and being photographed in the purple T-shirt bearing the Campaign theme.  She will also attend the Foundation’s key event, a free mini-health fair at Emancipation Park, and take part in an official Opening Ceremony at 12:00 pm in tandem with the  Minister of State in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Hon Juliette Cuthbert-Flynn who will declare the event open.

Also present at the free event at Emacipation Park will be representatives of several health Professional Associations including Medical Association of Jamaica, Dermatology Association of Jamica, Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica and Jamaica Physiotherapy Association as well as Mandeville Regional Hospital Nephrology Unit, who will interact with the public and provide health talks and demonstrations.  National Health Fund will provide free health screening in tandem with the Diabetes Association of Jamaica.  A live broadcast on Riddim FM 102 with host Vernon Derby will also feature conversations with health professionals, volunteers and persons living with Lupus, as well as reports from participants in awareness walks and other activities across the Island.

The public is invited to wear purple on Tuesday May 10 in solidarity, to participate in local activities and make donations to the Foundation towards support services for persons with Lupus. Further information is available at the Foundation’s website www.lupusfoundationjamaica.org or by contacting 8767548458.


7 Barbados Avenue
Kingston 5, Jamaica, W.I.
876-754-8458

Helpline
876-778-3892 (Voice/Text/Whatsapp)

Email: info@lupusfoundationjamaica.org


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