Rheumatoid arthritis: Defend your health with vaccines

Find out why vaccines are so vital for men and women who have rheumatoid arthritis.

By Mayo Clinic Staff members

Rheumatoid arthritis and the drugs made use of to address it can improve your chance of acquiring infections. Vaccinations can assist prevent some of these infections.

An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune method mistakenly attacks its personal tissue. Though rheumatoid arthritis generally influences tissue lining your joints, it can also influence your lungs, coronary heart, kidneys and eyes.

Rheumatoid arthritis drugs function by suppressing your immune method. An undesirable aspect influence of this suppression, however, is an improved chance of infection — notably in the lungs.

Vaccinations can assist lessen your chance of infection. But if you have a weakened immune method, you really should stay away from vaccines that have stay viruses. These kinds of vaccinations could lead to infection in men and women with suppressed immune systems.

Vaccinations generally encouraged for men and women who have rheumatoid arthritis incorporate:

  • Respiratory influenza. This once-a-year vaccination is also known as the flu shot. The nasal spray variation consists of stay virus, so it truly is not encouraged.
  • Pneumonia. There are two main kinds of pneumonia vaccines for older people and the two are encouraged for men and women who have rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Shingles. The more mature shingles vaccine (Zostavax) consists of stay virus, so it truly is not encouraged. Though Zostavax is no lengthier offered in the United States, other nations may however use it. The newer shingles vaccine (Shingrix) is not a stay virus, so it may be a greater option.
  • COVID-19 Some drugs normally made use of to handle rheumatoid arthritis may decrease the success of the COVID-19 vaccine. Your doctor may advocate briefly halting these drugs for a shorter time.

Chat to your doctor about which vaccinations may be correct for you, and when in the course of the training course of your treatment is the most effective time to obtain them.