The Chair of the ACR COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Task Force shares what was learned from the Omicron variant and how the recommendations for rheumatologists has been affected by it.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) announced its updated version of COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance for Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases earlier this month.
Jeffrey Curtis, MD, MS, Chair of the ACR COVID-19 Clinical Guidance Task Force, shared how the wave of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has affected they way rheumatologists should continue to treat their patients and how vaccine doses are recommended for each patient population.
Some of the updates include understanding who needs additional doses and booster doses, the protocol for monoclonal antibody treatment, and treatment schedules for patients on immunosuppressant medications.
"As rheumatologists, we need to be querying patients as to how recently they were vaccinated, with what, in light of their treatments and their disease and their activity," Curtis said. "Early on, everyone was just in a hurry to get them something even if the vaccine response wasn't great."
"Now, we have a little bit more time to be thoughtful to try to get it right to the extent we know what right looks like," he continued. "So, this is where ongoing vigilance to make sure you or your office staff are screening patients as to their vaccination status. And how many doses they've gotten, of what, is going to continue to be important."