With the public now making their rounds with the COVID-19 vaccine, we are learning more about its full range of effects, including what some may say are negative ones.
Let’s dive in to understand how the vaccine impacts psoriasis specifically.
What do we know?
The new mRNA vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna) are 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 and are extremely safe. Even though we know quite a bit about vaccines in general, there is much to be learned about COVID-19 vaccinations.
What about “live” vaccines?
Live vaccines such as measles, mumps, rubella, vaccinia, varicella, and zoster help the body’s immune system recognize and fight infections caused by non-weakened forms of the virus.
It is important to emphasize that the COVID-19 vaccines are mRNA based and are NOT considered live vaccines. This is a key distinction as live vaccines should be given before starting systemic psoriasis treatment.
Some therapies may make vaccines less effective, which is why patients should talk to their provider about updating their vaccination status prior to starting such therapies.
What are the experts saying?
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends that patients with psoriatic disease get the vaccine as soon as it is available to them. Patients may continue their oral or biologic psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis treatment without interruption when receiving these immunizations.
The bottom line with the COVID-19 Vaccine and Psoriasis:
The risks from acquiring and being infected with the COVID-19 virus far outweigh the risks from a reaction to one of the vaccines if the patient has a history of using systemic medications for psoriasis. Furthermore, we have known for a long time that poorly controlled psoriasis carries its own risk of joint destruction, heart attack, stroke, and many more co-morbidities.