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Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Information.

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The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been authorised for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and is currently being rolled out across the UK.

As other vaccines are licensed and become available, they will be rolled out in the same way. The Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which oversees all vaccination programmes in the UK has recommended that the highest risk groups are vaccinated first. We know that COVID-19 is most dangerous in the very oldest individuals and we have seen rapid spread in Nursing Home situations where very vulnerable people live in close proximity. So, the first group to be immunised will be residents in a care home for older adults and staff working in these care homes. They will be followed by those over 80 and front-line NHS workers and then in age order downwards.

The priority groups are ranked as follows:

Most Sjogren’s patients will not be immunosuppressed and will not be taking drugs that cause immunosuppression. But even if they are the current recommendation is that they should receive the vaccine. Hydroxychloroquine is not an immunosuppressive drug.

The BSSA strongly recommends that all our Sjogren’s members have the vaccination when they are offered it. The only exception that we are aware of us is those with a history of severe allergic reaction (eg anaphylaxis) to previous vaccination.

Versus Arthritis has produced a guide for patients covering some of the most frequently asked questions.

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