If you are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), you know all too well the unpredictable nature of the disease. One minute you are fine; the next, you are in pain. This can leave RA patients with little protection against the flu, a common illness for people with RA. But a new vaccine from Merck and Sanofi, called rVSV-PRO, aims to change that. The COVID-19 vaccine, which became available last week, is the first for RA patients. Here is a guide for people with RA on the best ways to prepare for and handle the vaccine.

People with Rheumatoid Arthritis must Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is a type of autoimmune disease that attacks the joints, causing inflammation and pain, and it can lead to permanent joint damage if not controlled. RA may affect people differently, with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Some people with RA experience joint stiffness, swelling, redness, warmth, and sometimes loss of movement. RA symptoms can also appear symmetrically on both sides of the body, causing people to believe they have another condition, such as Lyme disease. RA is a chronic disease that affects over 5 million people in the United States. While it is most common in people over the age of 50, approximately 12% of cases occur in people under the age of 45, according to the CDC. The disease causes inflammation of the joints and can cause pain, loss of function, and, in severe cases, disability.

Two Shots Are Not Enough for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are characterized by inflammation of the joints. RA is distinguished from OA when the inflammation leads to bone and cartilage damage. OA pain tends to be more limited and localized, while RA pain can be diffuse and debilitating. Both RA and OA can stem from autoimmune disorders, in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues or from infection, injury, or other factors. RA can affect any joint in the body but can also affect the eyes, skin, lungs, and kidneys. RA typically affects women more than men.

Consult a Doctor to Adjust Your RA Medications.

When dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, it remains imperative to consult a physician to ensure the most suitable treatment plan. RA is a persistent inflammatory disorder that leads to distressing swelling, stiffness, and joint damage. Symptoms often manifest when the immune system mistakenly attacks the joint lining, resulting in pain, swelling, and tenderness. RA medications comprise various anti-inflammatory treatments that your doctor can prescribe, and multiple approaches are available to help manage flare-ups. Whether modifications in medications are required or adjustments in dosage are necessary, you can always seek guidance from primary care doctors through family medicine in New Jersey or somewhere close to your home. They can provide valuable advice on minimizing flare-ups, reducing symptoms, and alleviating the challenges of living with a chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis.

Do not Worry About Minor Side Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints. It is more common in women, and while the exact cause of RA is unknown, research has established that chronic inflammation causes the disease. Fortunately, some treatments can slow down or stop RA’s progression. However, the side effects of RA medications can be more significant than the disease itself.

Keep Up Other Measures to Protect Yourself from Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a long-term inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects joints. As the inflammation increases, the joints become swollen, stiff, and sore, making it challenging to participate in everyday activities like walking, running, climbing stairs, and bending. As painful as it can be to take medicine every day, it is also essential that you continue taking these medications to reduce your risk for long-term complications from your rheumatoid arthritis. Your doctor will prescribe medications to reduce your risk for rheumatic heart disease, heart failure, liver problems, and stroke. Additional medications may be necessary to control tender, swollen joints. Certain medications, such as biologics, can slow the progression of your rheumatoid arthritis.