Whether you’re self-isolating or shielding at home, supporting loved ones or caring for those in the community, we’ll continue to stand by, support and speak up for people living with lupus.
We’ll be continually reviewing this content as the COVID-19 situation evolves across the UK and guidance changes over time. Therefore, it’s important to check this page regularly for updates.
Latest updates - Wednesday 3rd Setember 2021.
Many people with lupus have been in touch with their GPs or rheumatology teams about the COVID-19 vaccination. We have put this information together to explain which people with lupus and related conditions are part of the government’s priority groups 4 and 6 for vaccination.
Everyone over the age of 18 can now book their vaccine, and over the next few weeks, everyone aged 16 and 17 will be offered their first dose. Find out more on our Vaccines for COVID-19 – your questions answered webpage.
You can see the full list of the COVID-19 vaccination first phase priority groups 1-10, see the Gov UK website.
Who is included at this stage?
Group 4 – Clinically extremely vulnerable individuals
Everyone who has been told to shield, or that they are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, is part of the government’s priority group 4 for vaccination. This includes people who have recently been instructed to shield recently through the use of the QCOVID risk assessment tool.
If you are in this group and haven’t yet been contacted to make an appointment to get your vaccine, you can follow the links below to find out what to do next.
- England - NHS: book or manage your coronavirus vaccination
- Northern Ireland - COVID-19 vaccine service
- Scotland - NHS Inform: the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
- Wales - Get your COVID-19 vaccination if you think you have been missed
Group 6 – People aged 16 to 64 who are considered to be at risk and adults who live with adults who are immunosuppressed
Some people with arthritis and other related conditions who have not been told to shield are still at an increased risk of COVID-19. Some of these people are in priority group 6 for receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Priority group 6 includes people living with lupus
People on medicines that suppress the immune system, including:
- anti-TNF biologics (such as infliximab, adalimumab, etanercept, golimumab, certolizumab pegol)
- other biologics (such as tocilizumab, abatacept, ustekinumab, secukinumab, rituximab, belimumab)
- JAK inhibitors (such as baricitinib, tofacitinib and upadacitinib)
- mycophenolate mofetil (MMF)
- doses higher than 20mg of prednisolone (steroid tablets) per day, for longer than one month.
You may be prescribed one of the medicines listed above under a different name, known as a brand name. If you usually know your treatment by its brand name, you may want to check if it’s known by one of the names above. Sometimes this information is on the packaging your medication came in.
What vaccines are available?
There are many vaccines in development for COVID-19, but we don’t know exactly when each of these will be available. So far, two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in the UK – the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine became available in early December 2020, and the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will be available from January 2021.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be available from December 2020, but this may only be in small numbers, with more doses and other vaccines becoming available in early 2021 as they are approved.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is not a live vaccine, and people who take medicines to suppress the immune system can have this vaccine. People on these types of drugs are on the priority list for vaccination that has been produced by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
If you’re not sure about whether you can have a particular vaccine, then speak to your healthcare team to discuss this. Don’t stop your usual treatment without discussing it with your healthcare team first.
It’s not recommended that people who are pregnant receive the vaccine. This is because there isn’t enough evidence about how the vaccine works during pregnancy. You also shouldn’t have the vaccine while breastfeeding or try to get pregnant within two months of having the last dose of the vaccine.
Both of the available vaccines are thought to offer short-term protection after the first dose. The second dose is important for long-term protection from COVID-19.
None of the proposed UK vaccines have live Coronavirus.
Information and guidance from the Rheumatology Team at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.
We know social distancing and self-isolating can be hard and can take its toll on our mental health and wellbeing.
How are you feeling today? Talking to someone can make a big difference. Whether it’s to a relative, friend, partner or healthcare professional, never be afraid to open up about how you’re feeling.
Keeping active at home.
However you’re getting active, it’s all good for your health and wellbeing.
Lupus is a condition for life and during its course it may affect you differently at different times. Research shows that regular exercise leads to a decrease in symptoms and pain, and an increase in energy! It’s not enough to rely on medication. You also have to exercise.
When lupus is active, you may not feel like doing very much and it’s important to rest when you need to. Too much rest, however, will cause the muscles to weaken and may make you feel more tired. You need to find the right balance between rest and exercise.
If you can get moving from a seated position, the NHS have some seated exercises which can be followed by those with a range of health conditions, at a pace that suits you.
Reusable Face Mask.
Our reusable face masks are made with a dual layer water repellent coated polyester, as well as a soft-woven inner polyester with antimicrobial properties for superior comfort and protection.
- 100% water-repellent polyester with dust-proof membrane.
- Antimicrobial comfort layer.
- Washable & reusable.
- Enhanced Qwick-Dri™ wicking technology.
Even apart, we’re in this together.
Send to someone special to remind them when there’s rain, to look for the rainbow. We’ve got this!
There is no membership to The Hibbs Lupus Trust. All of our services & information are provided for FREE.
You are not on this journey alone.
Lupus Warrior Flare Pack.
We have been working on some care packs for lupus warriors experiencing a flare.
Knowing that it can be the little things that make a difference when the force of a flare strikes, we hope these packs will bring a little relief and a smile to someone going through a tough time.
You can nominate someone who you would like to send a care pack to and we will do the rest. Just let us know a few details and we can tailor the pack.