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Rheumatoid arthritis: Vaccines – Mayo Clinic

Rheumatoid arthritis: Secure your overall health with vaccines

Find out why vaccines are so important for persons who have rheumatoid arthritis.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Rheumatoid arthritis and the medications utilised to take care of it can improve your chance of creating bacterial infections. Vaccinations can assistance avoid some of these bacterial infections.

An autoimmune illness, rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system mistakenly assaults its possess tissue. Even though rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects tissue lining your joints, it can also influence your lungs, coronary heart, kidneys and eyes.

Rheumatoid arthritis medications perform by suppressing your immune system. An undesirable facet impact of this suppression, nevertheless, is an enhanced chance of infection — specially in the lungs.

Vaccinations can assistance lessen your chance of infection. But if you have a weakened immune system, you should really avoid vaccines that contain dwell viruses. These sorts of vaccinations could trigger infection in persons with suppressed immune systems.

Vaccinations usually recommended for persons who have rheumatoid arthritis involve:

  • Respiratory influenza. This once-a-year vaccination is also identified as the flu shot. The nasal spray variation includes dwell virus, so it really is not recommended.
  • Pneumonia. There are two major sorts of pneumonia vaccines for grownups and both are recommended for persons who have rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Shingles. The older shingles vaccine (Zostavax) includes dwell virus, so it really is not recommended. Even though Zostavax is no more time offered in the United States, other countries could however use it. The more recent shingles vaccine (Shingrix) is not a dwell virus, so it could be a greater solution.
  • COVID-19 Some medications generally utilised to regulate rheumatoid arthritis could lessen the usefulness of the COVID-19 vaccine. Your medical doctor may well advise briefly halting these medications for a shorter time.

Talk to your medical doctor about which vaccinations may well be correct for you, and when in the course of the system of your therapy is the greatest time to receive them.