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COVID-19 presents important challenges for people affected by Scleroderma. This page provides available resources and pertinent information for Scleroderma patients, as well as initiatives to support the organization and patients during these difficult times.


Vaccine news

BC CDC 3rd Dose Eligibility, as of 2021 October 16

Individuals with an autoimmune disorder per se in BC are not eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine 3rd dose unless they are receiving … 

Active treatment with the following immunosuppressive therapies:

  • People who received treatment since January 2020 with any anti-CD20 agents (such as rituximab, ocrelizumab, ofatumumab,  obinutuzumab, ibritumomab, tositumomab).
  • People who have been treated since January 2020 with b-cell depleting agents (such as epratuzumab, MEDI-551, belimumab, BR3-Fc, AMG-623, Atacicept, anti-BR3, alemtuzumab).
  • People who have been treated with biologics since December 15, 2020: abatacept, adalimumab, anakinra, benralizumab, brodalumab, canakinumab, certolizumab, dupilumab, etanercept, golimumab, guselkumab, infliximab, interferon products (alpha, beta, and pegylated forms), ixekizumab, mepolizumab, natalizumab, omalizumab, resilizumab, risankizumab, sarilumab, secukinumab, tildrakizumab, tocilizumab, ustekinumab, or vedolizumab.
  • People who have been treated with oral immune-suppressing drugs since December 15, 2020: azathioprine, baricitinib, cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, leflunomide, dimethyl fumerate, everolimus, fingolimod, mycophenolate, siponimod, sirolimus, tacrolimus, tofacitinib, upadacitinib, methotrexate, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, methylprednisolone, or teriflunomide.
  • People who have been treated with steroids orally or by injection on an ongoing basis since December 15, 2020: dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, or prednisone.
  • People who have been treated with immune-suppressing Infusions/injections since December 15, 2020: cladribine, cyclophosphamide, glatiramer, methotrexate.

For individuals with scleroderma, the typical therapies from the list above include rituximab, abatacept, tocilizumab, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, methotrexate, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone.  Note that there are dates associated with administration of these therapies that also must be satisfied in order to receive a 3rd dose.

Check with your doctor about receiving the 3rd dose.

With the approval of two vaccines in Canada for Covid-19, there are many questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines for people living with scleroderma.

Updated information re COVID-19, the emerging variants and vaccination as it relates to scleroderma patients.


BC Gov LInk to Vaccine Rollout Registration


Dealing with COVID & Vaccines

A Canadian Scleroderma Series Panel Discussion

The discussion was held on February 11, 2021 and now the video is available to you. 

Featuring Panelists:
Dr. Janet Pope  –  Dr. Mark Larche  –  Dr. John Varga  –  Maureen Sauve

Dr. Brett D. Thombs



American College of Rheumatology

One item in the video was reference to the American College of Rheumatology Guidance Related to the Use and Timing of Vaccination and Immunomodulatory Therapies in Relation to COVID-19 Vaccination Administration in Rheumatoid Arthritis  Patients

You can have a look at COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Summary




SPIN Series: Living with Covid

Thanks to the success of the SPIN-CHAT (COVID-19 Home-isolation Activities Together) Program and in response to public demand, we decided to offer weekly webinars of our educational segments! Starting February 2nd and held every Wednesday  4-5 PM PST thereafter, for a total of 11 webinars. Take a look at our presentation line-up below: 

Mar 03 Home activity engagement Laura Bustamante
Mar 10 Worry management (Part 2) Ghassan El-Baalbaki
Mar 17 Relaxation techniques (Part 2) Ghassan El-Baalbaki
Mar 24 Adapted home exercise (Part 2) Kelsey Ellis & Delaney Duchek
Mar 31 Home activity engagement (Part 2) Laura Bustamante
Apr 07 Worry management (Part 3) Ghassan El-Baalbaki
Apr 14 Adapted home exercise (Part 3) Kelsey Ellis & Delaney Duchek


For the first session REGISTER HERE



COVID-19 presents important challenges for people affected by Scleroderma.  This page puts together available resources and pertinent information for Scleroderma patients, as well as the initiatives to support the organization and patients during these difficult times.

Scleroderma and the COVID vaccine.

Scleroderma Foundation in the United States pulled together a talented group of experts and have provided a page with information and recommendations on COVID-19 vaccines. Read what some of the top experts in the world have to say: READ HERE

Answers to your questions!

Immunosuppression is a risk factor, and having an interstitial lung disease (ILD) or Scleroderma without an ILD puts you at a slightly higher risk.

More information

COVID-19 and Scleroderma Q&A

BC Centre for Disease Control

BC Government Covid-19 Information

British Columbia division of the Canadian Mental Health Association


You have questions?  Please view this videoforum captured on March 21 2020.

« Scleroderma & COVID-19 : A conversation with the experts » 

Participants were invited to submit their questions concerning COVID-19 and Scleroderma in advance via an online Qualtrics questionnaire or to ask their questions directly to a team of five experienced panelists.  Mrs. Maureen Sauvé, Dr. Janet Pope, Dr. John Varga, Dr. Don Sheppard and Dr. Brett Thombs.  By typing them into the discussion section of GotoMeeting.

You can access a transcript of the questions and answers here!


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