The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) announced its updated version of COVID-19 vaccine clinical guide for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders earlier in the 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 their 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 monoclonal antibody treatment protocol, and treatment plans for patients on immunosuppressive medication.
“As rheumatologists, we need to ask patients 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 busy getting them something, even though the vaccine response was not great.”
“Now we have a little more time to be thoughtful about trying to get it right to the extent that we know what the right looks like,” he continued. “So it’s here, the ongoing vigilance to ensure that you or your office staff screen patients for their vaccination status. And how many doses they have received, of what, will continue to be important.”