The COVID Vaccine From The Eyes Of a Lupus Patient
The COVID vaccine has become a constant point of contention between the medical community and the public. Today, I sat down with Amy Nora, a lupus advocate, and friend, to discuss the COVID vaccine and how it has impacted her life.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Amy Nora. I am 40 years old from the mitten of Michigan. I have been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, and fibromyalgia to name a few. I was forced to leave the workforce in 2016 due to my multiple health problems.
Have you gotten your covid vaccine? If not, why not?
I have not gotten my vaccine yet. I am on a drug called Rituxan, and it must be timed from your last infusion to your next infusion as to when you get it. I will be delaying my next infusion by a full month to get my vaccine and I am okay with that in order to protect myself and others. I am eligible to get my vaccine on September 13, and I have an appointment at 8 am. I will also have to discontinue my daily immunosuppressive so I actually will be without all medications for one month.
This is quite a challenge since my disease is not under control, and without my daily medication and infusion my disease will get progressively worse so my symptoms of rash, severe joint inflammation, fatigue, GI problems, vomiting, photosensitivity, swelling, vasculitis, dry mouth, mouth and nose ulcers will become quite miserable. But this is what will happen so I can get my vaccine.
What are your views on getting the vaccine?
We get vaccines such as MMR, chickenpox, and meningitis to protect ourselves and the general population.
We, therefore, have a responsibility to get this vaccine to protect ourselves and others. It is safe and effective. Contrary to the misinformation that is out there, this science has been in the pipeline for years and Operation Warpspeed allowed scientists from all over the world to work on a project that literally affected the entire globe. There is a vested interest to get this right.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am someone that is immunocompromised. This means that my immune system cannot mount a proper response to fight a normal virus let alone COVID-19. I take medications that further suppressed my immune system. When people refuse to be vaccinated, they not only put themselves in jeopardy, they also put me at a higher risk. They also put millions of Americans like myself at a greater risk. I am automatically at a higher risk for hospitalization, kidney failure, and cardiac problems.
How often does someone offer you unsolicited advice on your health?