COVID-19 update

Rheumatology

COVID-19 vaccine

If you were taking medicines that affect your immune system at the time of your 1st and 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose, you may need a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is also known as a 3rd primary dose. You should have this at least 3 months after your 2nd dose.

A 4th 'booster' COVID-19 vaccine dose should also be offered to you. This will be 3 months after your 3rd vaccine dose.

Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination page has more information including how to book your vaccine.

Versus Arthritis has COVID-19 advice for people taking steroids.

COVID-19 and medicines

People with chronic inflammatory disease are at greater risk. Please check the list of immunosuppressive medicines. If you're taking any of these you may be considered a high risk patient. Please assess your level of risk.

We strongly recommend continuing all medications as prescribed by your rheumatologist, unless advised otherwise. It is especially important that you do not stop steroids abruptly.

You may have an increased risk of developing the coronavirus if you take any of these immunosuppressive medications, either alone or in combination. Please check if your medication is on the list.

  • Prednisolone – more than 5mg per day for more than four consecutive weeks

And/or:

  • abatacept
  • adalimumab
  • anakinra
  • azathioprine
  • baracitinib
  • belimumab
  • canakinumab
  • certolizumab
  • ciclosporin
  • cyclophosphamide
  • etanercept
  • golimumab
  • infliximab
  • ixekizumab
  • leflunomide
  • methotrexate
  • mycophenolate (mycophenolate mofetil or mycophenolic acid)
  • rituximab, within last 12 months
  • seukinumab
  • sarilumumab
  • sirolimus
  • tacrolimus
  • tociluzimab
  • tofacitinib
  • ustekinumab

The list of immunosuppressive medication does not include hydroxychloroquine or sulphasalazine.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, please follow the guidelines on the NHS 111 website and temporarily stop taking your medicines (with the exception of steroids and hydroxychloroquine) until you have recovered. This advice applies for any infection.

Contact us

If you are an existing patient and you have a question about your appointment, please email us.

Email: [email protected]

If you don't have access to email, please call 020 7188 5900.

pals icon

Do you have any comments or concerns about your care?

Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Is this page useful?