Dr. Winthrop points out that one participant developed disseminated shingles from the vaccine two days after starting tofacitinib. However, in retrospect, it was the only patient in the study who lacked pre-existing immunity.
“It raises the question of whether or not—for people starting certain immunosuppressive therapies—we should check their immunity before giving the vaccine, ” Dr. Winthrop says. “That said, the vaccine is not labeled that way. It’s labeled [as] safe for anyone over the age of 50. It’s just assumed everyone has immunity.”
Richard Quinn is a freelance writer in New Jersey.