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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Rheumatology

Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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For patients

This area is intended for patients, carers and relatives of people affected by disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

January 2021 - COVID-19 update

Vaccination against COVID-19 for any patients with a rheumatic disease

This is based on a fuller set of statements from the British Society for Rheumatology:

Statement from British Society for Rheumatology

We strongly recommend that all patients with a rheumatic disease should be eligible to receive and should respond to the vaccine.

We strongly advise you to take whichever vaccine is available to you in your area as soon as you are offered one.

Whilst some immunosuppressed patients may have a lower immunological response to the vaccine, it is still worth getting the vaccine to protect your health.

The only reasons not to have the vaccine are if you are pregnant or if you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic reaction) to any components in the vaccine in the past. If you are in doubt please contact us:

Email: ouh-tr.rheumatologynurses@nhs.net

so that we can review your case and offer advice.

What if I am receiving rituximab?

For any patients receiving rituximab, where clinically possible, the first dose of your COVID-19 vaccination should be given four weeks or more before rituximab.

In practice, for some patients, this might mean delaying your rituximab infusion for up to four months, and using other means to control your rheumatic disease.

If you have already received a rituximab infusion, we are recommending that you delay receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for at least three months after your most recent the rituximab infusion.

The vaccination would not be more risky to take, but might not work as well as it could in protecting you against the virus.

This is because the rituximab treatment might reduce your body's ability to respond to the vaccine. In such cases, please ask us for advice and we can look more specifically at your situation and help you.

Clinical queries

If you are having problems or have clinical queries, please email us.

Email: ouh-tr.rheumatologynurses@nhs.net

Include your NHS number in the email.

If you do not have access to email, please call Rheumatology.

Tel: 01865 737871

Flare advice

Inflammatory Arthritis: Flare Management for Patients (pdf, 220 KB)