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Mask update (March 2022)

Scleroderma Manitoba acknowledges and agrees with the Scleroderma Foundation’s updated COVID guidance including masking guidelines and vaccinations.

If you are an immunocompromised patient please read this update.

Important message regarding Covid-19 treatment and scleroderma patients in Manitoba

For those living in Manitoba with scleroderma who may experience the first sign of mild COVID symptoms or a positive COVID test, it is imperative that you contact your Rheumatologist immediately!

Treatment for covid is available for multiple groups in Manitoba; your rheumatologist is in the best position to determine if you are eligible for this treatment.

This is time-sensitive matter because treatment must begin within 7 days of COVID symptom onset. Your rheumatologist will review your symptoms and any lung complications you may have (e.g. interstitial lung disease (ILD), pulmonary hypertension (PH), or pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

They will also review any immune-system suppressants you have been prescribed (e.g. azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), infliximab (Remicade), methotrexate, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, or tocilizumab (Actemra).

Your rheumatologist will send a referral for treatment if indicated and eligible.

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.

If you have questions about mental health, well-being, or coping with COVID-19, SPIN Director, Dr. Brett Thombs, and the SPIN Team are ready to provide answers. Please submit your questions here.

Vaccine news

Covid vaccination – 3rd dose information sheet (February 2022)

Information on vaccine eligibility in Manitoba, including boosters

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

The Scleroderma Foundation in the United States has provided information and recommendations on COVID-19 vaccines which can be accessed using the link below. It has highly credible information from some of the top experts in the world. Scleroderma Manitoba recommends that you discuss medical decisions regarding the vaccine with your doctor.

Scleroderma Foundation: Questions and Answers Regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine

SPIN Series: Living with Covid (Concluded)

SPIN (The Scleroderma Patient Information Network) offered weekly educational webinars in February and March. Watch recordings of the sessions using the links below:

02/02: Healthy Information Management with Laura Dyas

02/10: Worry management with Ghassan El-Baalbaki

02/17: Relaxation techniques with Ghassan El-Baalbaki

02/24: Adapted home exercise with Kelsey Ellis & Delaney Duchek

03/03: Home activity engagement with Laura Bustamante

More 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 for complications from COVID-19.

If you have questions, watch this video forum 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.

Access a transcript of the questions and answers here.

More information

COVID-19 and Scleroderma Q&A web-icon-pdf

Scleroderma Manitoba endorses The Scleroderma Foundation on COVID-19 for people with scleroderma:
Information and Recommendations from The Scleroderma Foundation

Make the difference!

Every donation and effort help us to make a difference to advance research and to support people affected by scleroderma in Manitoba.  

Support research and scleroderma patients here.