Lupus Foundation of Jamaica urges patients to get vaccinatedTuesday, September 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Lupus Foundation of Jamaica is encouraging all lupus patients to get vaccinated as soon as possible with any of the vaccines currently available.
In a statement on Tuesday, the foundation revealed that many lupus patients are still holding off on being vaccinated because they are waiting to have questions answered or to get permission from their doctors.
However, it noted that accessing doctors has become more difficult with the recent surge affecting operations at both public and private clinics.
“There is conflicting information about COVID-19 and the vaccines, confusing even for the general population,” said Dr Desiree Tulloch-Reid, consultant rheumatologist and president of Lupus Foundation of Jamaica.
Tulloch-Reid further shared that “patients with autoimmune conditions are in a special situation because they have an immune system that is over-reactive in some ways, and yet is less effective with coping with infections. In addition, many medications for lupus also suppress the immune response in order to control the disease”.
“Persons with lupus will naturally have many questions, and so it is important for lupus patients to be empowered with the knowledge and information they need to make better and more timely choices. However, based on the evidence, we are strongly encouraging all lupus patients to get vaccinated as soon as possible with any of the vaccines currently available,” she continued.
Tulloch-Reid is among several specialist physicians and other health professionals that volunteer with the Lupus Foundation of Jamaica, monitoring the latest research and contributing to educational materials and programmes disseminated through its various platforms, keeping both health professionals and patients informed during the pandemic.
Patients and the public are invited to view educational programming and information provided on the foundation's YouTube channel, website and social media channels or contact the foundation's learning centre or helpline for further information.