COVID Vaccines & HIV
3rd Vaccine Shot for PLHAs in Nova Scotia
In regards to people living with HIV, If you have a Cluster of Differentiation 4 (CD4) of less than 200 you’re able to receive an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, and it is recommended that you do so.
From CATIE`s website (see www.catie.ca/en/covid-19-faq for additional info)…
It is important to consider getting vaccinated if you have HIV. Many people with HIV have or are at an increased risk for developing the underlying conditions that increase their chances of developing COVID-19 or severe disease if they become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. These underlying conditions include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol levels, lung disease, obesity and so on.
Experts consider COVID vaccines to be safe and effective for people with HIV. Clinical trials with the Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines included a relatively small number of people with HIV, all of whom were taking ART and who were healthy and well. Further studies are needed to determine if the vaccine works as well for people with HIV as it does for the general population.
There is no information yet on how well the vaccine works in people living with HIV who have a compromised immune system. If you are not on treatment and have a very low CD4 count, discuss vaccination with your healthcare provider. Some experts recommend starting HIV treatment first to prevent HIV-related complications and to potentially improve vaccine effectiveness.
COVID Info & Your HIV Meds
Look after yourself and plan…
We encourage our HIV+ members to make sure they have an adequate supply of their HIV medications and all other necessary medications. At this time prescriptions filled by the 6 North Pharmacy (Victoria General Hospital) are ONLY being mailed or couriered. We recommend arranging for refills 3-4 weeks before you are to run out. Be sure to listen closely to the phone instructions when you call the pharmacy and to provide your complete mailing address when arranging refills.
Pay attention to reliable sources of info about the pandemic - like this Nova Scotia Government website and protect yourself: masking, physically isolating yourself and regular hand-washing are "your friends"! Taking your HIV medications daily is always important - and especially so at this time!
Stay tuned for more info and stay well!