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Should I Get the COVID Vaccine? 💉

Should  I  Get  the  COVID  Vaccine? 💉

What I am going to share with you today is to let you know and what you need so to know so far about the COVID vaccine and prednisone. Prednisone is an amazing, beautiful, miraculous drug that saves lives! It saved mine but it’s immunosuppressant, which means it decreases our immune system’s response. So, is it really a good idea to get an injection of something foreign into our body while we’re taking it? That’s the question that I am going to answer today.

So, I have taken my time to collect all the possible information that I could possibly find and bring it all together for you, and really give a good, complete answer today.

I believe in science. I believe in evidence-based medicine so when I am talking about the information, I’m talking about reading studies, talking to experts finding out what they’re gonna actually say. What I am going to tell you today is evidence-based medicine.

Risk vs. Benefits

So, since prednisone is an immunosuppressant medicine, it’s kinda scary. That decision on what to do while taking prednisone and there’s COVID involved. It’s kind of a crazy situation. We know COVID is a terrible infection. We know that it can cause horrible things to happen. Whenever we are talking about prednisone treatment it’s always about benefits vs risk.


“Is it helping?” and “How much?”

while the Risk is:

“Is it harming?” and “How much?”

benefits vs risk while on prednisone

So we want it to decide if the benefit of getting the vaccine greater than the risk of whatever that vaccine is for and we’re specifically talking about the COVID vaccine.

With the COVID vaccine, what benefits might we have? So, the benefit is not getting the  SARS-CoV2, coronavirus, COVID-19: the terrible pandemic that we’ve been going through. And if you have survived this long without getting infected, that’s awesome! But, if you’re taking prednisone your chance of a poor reaction of doing terribly after you get infected is a lot higher than the general population. A lot of studies have been found that just taking prednisone alone leads to a worse reaction like you’re more likely to be hospitalized or die.

We know the risks of not doing anything. We know that if you’re getting the virus while you’re taking prednisone is not going to be good. What’s interesting now is they used prednisone and other steroids like dexamethasone to help people who aren’t already taking a steroid and hospitalized for having trouble breathing. And for those people, that’s a game-changer for them! But they’re not ready for it. What I’m saying is if you’re already on it and if you’re getting it your chances are worst. It’s scary.

The best is to do whatever you can to prevent it because it’s a huge risk for you.

How Does the COVID Vaccine Work?


Does this vaccine work? How does it work? and if it works, is it better not getting it?  So, coronavirus looks like a ball with spikes, pokings coming out on all sides, and your body can see this and mounts an immune response slowly if you naturally get the infection. Your body will recognize that and your immune response does the work. That’s how you get better!

Vaccine – Bomb Analogy

So, let’s pretend you wanted to make a bomb. You needed a part built. So you send a letter with instructions. In the letter, you specify that you wanted this part (pointing at the spike of the virus) for the bomb and you send it to the bomb part maker as a message. That will serve as a blueprint of that one part of the bomb. That’s what an mRNA vaccine is. It’s not the part, not the bomb. It’s just the blueprint for the part of the bomb because then your body will recognize and create its own protection against it. Essentially, what’s amazing is it’s not the virus itself, not even the part of the virus. It’s just a message on “This is how you make them part of the virus!” Then your body can make that part of the virus.

What’s also amazing about this is the beautiful amazing technology that they’ve been creating for decades now. The mRNA vaccine technology used to create this vaccine would be awesome. But the problem was if you inject it straight mRNA into somebody’s arms, your body has this beautiful thing called ribonucleosides and they would just break down the mRNA and it would just be gone.

How Does it Get to the Body and not Breakdown Immediately?

They figured out how to create a little castle around that mRNA and it’s called a nanoparticle of lipid-protein and lipid nanoparticle. The lipid nanoparticles just protect the mRNA until it goes inside a cell. That lipid doesn’t go inside the DNA but straight to the cell which has a lipid bilayer around it. Right after it gets inside the cell, mRNA starts the process of copying the message from the vaccine. Your body imitates the spikes on the outside of COVID-19 and makes memory cells that can remember the shapes and spread it to the entire body.


Why Vaccine Creation was so Fast

So, that’s how it works and it’s amazing and some people then said, “oh, that happened too fast, the new technology is untested and it’s too scary!” This technology has been around, the mRNA part has been here for decades and the lipid nanoparticle castle they have had it ready for a long time but just they never have the funding and the ability to put them all together.  It’s not that new.

What About the Trials?

When they create drugs and vaccines, they have to do phases. Normally those things will happen over a decade and will cost a billion dollars. It would be a very long time and you might be wondering how they could possibly do this in less than a year? And the thing is, it’s because of mRNA! We’re able to do it and we don’t have to sit there and wait for them for too long.

Also, normally there aren’t very many sick people in a certain population to measure against, so it would take longer just to have enough sick people to compare the vaccine to. In this case, we have plenty of sick people getting infected with COVID naturally, so the comparison side of the study is much easier to conduct. Since it’s a pandemic and we already have the technology, we don’t have to wait. It’s just awesome that they were able to do this.

What are the Phases of Clinical Trials?

  • I  – Making sure that what they are giving you is not gonna kill you.
  • II  – Need to figure out the dose and that’s how they figure out that we needed 2 doses for this vaccine.
  • III – The Safety. Two different vaccines have been tested and it is shown that it’s totally safe!

Normal Vaccine Reactions

Basically what you can expect when you get the vaccine: they inject it into your arm and it gets sore. You might get a headache, fatigue, aches, pain, or maybe fever. Those are normal and a good sign! Because it is showing that your body is releasing all of the correct things in the right order so you can actually have an immune response when COVID really comes.  Those things are not COVID. Instead, it is your body’s response to this foreign injection.

How Well Does it Work?

When the government initially planned Project Warp Speed, they tried to predict, “What would it be a good reaction? How many people would have to be prevented from getting COVID in order to deem it effective for the quality?” And the first guess was 30% – 40%; they were hoping for that high of efficacy.

The fact that these vaccines have a 90%-95% efficacy is a miracle! It surpasses the scientist’s expectation of having only 30% – 40% immunity.

These vaccines work. They are safe. Aside from your body feeling a bit yucky in order to create an immune response. And that’s what you want, it’s miserable, but it’s a good thing, right?

Is this Vaccine Safe?

If this vaccine was made like others in the past; if it was a live attenuated virus, then we might have a concern for people on prednisone. There are a few that you’re not supposed to while on prednisone, all using completely different technology than this. Then there would be a concern, but this isn’t a live virus, this mRNA isn’t a part of the virus. These are just the blueprints, the plan to create the part of the virus, but not the virus itself.

What if I have an Autoimmune Disease?

If you have an autoimmune disease, is the vaccine safe for you? Well, you better talk about this with your doctor, but for most people, just having an autoimmune disease or taking prednisone is a much higher risk for a terrible outcome if you’re infected with COVID! Likely, the risk is higher of bad complications from a COVID infection rather than if you’re done with the vaccination. The infection is worse than the theoretical vaccine risks.

But we don’t know yet for sure. Because guess what? They excluded people on prednisone and autoimmune diseases from the trials. They didn’t include them (us) in the study. So I can’t actually say that you should get it, yet. There’s no perfect evidence yet to show that. Are they doing or studying that? Yes!

We anticipate that this vaccine is much safer than a prednisone patient getting expose and having to deal with the consequences. That is what they say because even if we studied it in specific people the evidence is so much worse if you don’t get the COVID vaccine.

That’s the same with pregnant women and breastfeeding women. They were also excluded from the trial but there’s not really a way that they (the professional organizations of gynecologists recommend vaccinations in pregnant women) can see that this could cause a problem in those potential populations.

Normally, in autoimmune or prednisone patients there could be a problem with a vaccine because in those other types of vaccines there’s actually a virus that might theoretically reactivate because your immune system is low. Or in a pregnant woman, if the vaccine was an actual live virus then maybe your body can handle it but your fetus cannot. Maybe it would theoretically reactivate with your fetus. But not with this type of vaccine, an mRNA.

In all of those people, for other non-COVID, live vaccines (like MMR), the guidance from CDC is “No, don’t get it!” out of an abundance of caution.

But in this case, this COVID vaccine is not a live virus. This is an mRNA vaccine (just a blueprint for the bomb, not the bomb itself). With this amazing technology, there’s not even a theoretical problem for any of the people just listed! There should not be a problem for most people.

Should You Get the COVID Vaccine or Not?

Covid vaccine for prednisone patient

Ultimately, it is always weighing the benefits and the risks for you: is it worth it to run the risk of getting infected? Or is it better to prevent the infection or the consequences of that infection? You really have to talk with your doctor about that and rely on high-quality evidence-based medicine information and not some random thing that you have read on the internet.

What You Should Do Now

Now, what I want you to do is to reach out to your doctor, your health-care provider, and talk about what are your risks? What are the benefits for you? Get that information from a respected source. It’s so easy to find any opinion online right now. You need to go to high-quality sources of information. Then if you’re weighing the risk and benefits then get that COVID vaccine. It saves lives.

  1. Talk to a competent medical professional
  2. Get the vaccine
  3. Share this article

If you find this information helpful, please share it with your friends and with those who need this information. There is so much misinformation out there. We need to get good quality evidence medical pieces of information to outweigh so much poor information.

Read more about Prednisone and Coronavirus:

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP

Dr. Megan Milne, PharmD, BCACP, is an award-winning clinical pharmacist board certified in the types of conditions people take prednisone for. Dr. Megan had to take prednisone herself for an autoimmune condition so understands what it feels like to suffer prednisone side effects and made it her mission to counteract them as the Prednisone Pharmacist.

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