Like many RA patients, I take certain drugs that suppress my immune system and therefore make me more vulnerable to infections. To help counteract that risk, I’m careful about washing my hands, staying away from sick people, and getting my flu shot every year. My first pneumonia vaccination was given at my rheumatologist’s office as a condition to starting a biologic.
It was, therefore, somewhat alarming to read a recent study wherein the pneumonia vaccine wasn’t any more effective than the placebo in protecting RA patients from contracting pneumonia. In fact, there were actually two more vaccinated patients that got pneumonia than those who got the placebo. This is even more serious when you consider that pneumonia ranks fairly high in the cause of death of those of us who have RA. Considering that the researchers started out with the hypothesis that the vaccine was effective in preventing pneumonia in RA patients, I’m sure the outcome of the study was quite startling to them as well.
Read the rest of the post at RheumatoidArthritis.net: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/pneumonia-vaccine/