Many people taking specialty medications, such as people with cancer, are immunocompromised, and specialty drugs themselves can cause drug-induced immunosuppression. As COVID-19 vaccines roll out, it may be unclear how those products could impact people taking specialty therapies. At least one medical society, however, has released a guidance summary, and industry experts say that all stakeholders, including specialty pharmacies, have a role to play in making sure people getting vaccinated do so in the most effective, safest way possible.
In February, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) released its COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Summary, which provides recommendations on vaccinating people with musculoskeletal, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. A panel of nine rheumatologists, two infectious disease specialists and two public health experts developed the guidance through multiple meetings in December and January. The guidance was updated on March 4.