• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

mRNA vaccines for Covid-19 and immunosuppression

Tesscorm

Moderator
Staff member
Hi,
My son has been on remicade for a number of years and, of course, Covid brings concerns re infection, etc.

Very positive news on the results of the two vaccines!! However, I have a question, are mRNA vaccines considered 'live' vaccines? Can someone on a biologic or any immunosuppressive medication safely receive these vaccines?

I'm attached an article which I found discussing mRNA vaccines but I certainly don't fully understand all the material.

It states that mRNA vaccines are non-infectious, so I 'think' that means it would be safe but I'm not sure if I'm understanding the details correctly.

If anyone can provide their thoughts and/or some clarity, I'd greatly appreciate it!

 
Location
San Diego
No, an mRNA virus is not live and not infectious. The term they would use for live virus vaccine would be an "attenuated" whole virus vaccine.

With an mRNA vaccine you are not being injected with a virus at all. They are injecting some RNA that encodes for one viral protein - in this case the spike or S protein that is the key protein that the virus uses to bind to the patients' cells and thus infect them. The antibodies produced by the vaccine bind the to the S protein on the surface of the virus and prevent it from infecting your cells. Thus, no disease or perhaps only very mild disease is the result.

I'm on Stelara, another immunosuppressive biologic, and I intend to get one of these mRNA vaccines as soon as they are available to me.
 

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
What about the vaccines (Johnson and Johnson plus another one ) which use the covid spike abd attach it to adenovirus to go into the cells ?

My kiddo was dx with adenovirus virus a few years ago and was not permitted to be on humira while he tested positive to adenovirus....
 
Location
San Diego
Johnson & Johnson uses adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector-based vaccine. This is a "replication deficient" viral vector that has been used in seveal other candidate vaccines (HIV, Ebola, etc). It has had genes removed or inactivated that render it unable to reproduce itself inside cells and thus in viral terms in dead. The Astra-Zeneca vaccine uses a similarly inactivated chimpanzee adeno viral vector.

I'd be pretty confident that these are both safe (from an adenovirus infection point of view) for use by immunosuppressed patients.
 
Last edited:

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
@Scipio
Given the issue with the innate immune system response in the article that was fixed in the current mRNA vaccines , is there concern for those individuals who have innate immune system disease (auto inflammatory diseases ) ?

Ds also has an auto inflammatory neutrophilic disease which he takes a second biologic for .
 
Location
San Diego
@Scipio
Given the issue with the innate immune system response in the article that was fixed in the current mRNA vaccines , is there concern for those individuals who have innate immune system disease (auto inflammatory diseases ) ?
I don't know anything about your son's innate immune system disease, so it's difficult to say anything for sure, but I suspect that the risk is low. They have conquered most if not all of the overly-inflammatory innate response via methylation of some of the mRNA bases.

However, if there is s still a concern you can opt to wait for some of the other vaccines that are also coming along. Not all of them rely on mRNA technology. There are a bunch of different approaches being tried. mRNA just happens to be leading the pack primarily because the vaccine can be developed so quickly.
 
Last edited:

my little penguin

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks !
Once any vaccine is available to him -we will be discussing with all his specific specialists .
Hopefully they will have a good idea by then .
 

Tesscorm

Moderator
Staff member
For anyone who is interested... I just realized my link was to only one image within the article.

Here is a link to the full article

 
Top