Jill writes:


Thank-you so much for sharing your knowledge of COVID and treatments over the past 2 years.

The question I have is can symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis appear or be caused by vaccinations, specifically COVID vaccine?

I  totally support the vaccines (I’ve had 4), however since my first vaccine in April of 2020 , I started to develop pain in my knee joints a month later, I had attributed to not stretching after Spinning.  I previously I had full flexibility in knee joints  without any pain. 

Over the past 2 years and 4  COVID shots later , I have developed on-going pain in my hands, elbows, knees, hips and most recently shoulders. The pain starts at night and persist to the morning.  After waking up or sitting up the pain goes away after a few minutes,  but does persist in hands throughout the day.  After taking to my Doctor and getting x-rays and blood work, I have an elevated RA factor of 20, x-rays only showed Osteoarthritis in my big toe.  Other than childhood vaccines, I have never had any flu shots and the COVID vaccine was the first time that I have had a vaccine since childhood.  

Are there any studies that link vaccination (COVID or not)  where the auto-immune system gets out of whack?  I have found studies that indicate that  RA flare-ups can occur from getting COVID and COVID vaccines and also that Long COVID could impact/cause RA(?).  I have had mild COVID-Like symptoms 3 times but never tested positive. No family history of RA.

Is it possible that a healthy, fit, vegan female of 58 can develop RA or some other auto-immune disease that impacts joints as a result of vaccination? Could waning immunity mean the symptoms could go away?   

Living in Canada I am now waiting 4-6 months to see a Rheumatologist to rule in/out RA and left to deal with the joint pain on a daily basis.  Advil or Aleve do not help, like they once did.

If you have any thoughts on this and can point me into some direction that I could bring to my doctor, that would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards, 


A Loyal Listener writes:

Dear Dr. Griffin and Dr. Racaniello,

I am a loyal fan of all the microbe.tv programs and hope you can help me. 

I am going to turn 65 in March and have  antiphospholipid disorder. I had a TIA in 2009, and take Plavix daily since. 

I have been working remotely since March of 2020 but now my company wants us all to go back to working in the office. There are no assigned cubicles, everyone sits at an open space along long counters. There’s no way to know who will sit next to you until you get there and it’s an old building without updated ventilation.

I have read several research papers that say that COVID-19 can cause clotting similar to my disorder. Here are two examples:



My adult son thinks I am being paranoid and shouldn’t be worried. I have asked to continue to work remotely, but have not been told if it’s possible yet. I am considering just retiring so I won’t have to go to the office. It’s not financially what I had planned this early, but I don’t want to chance it if I truly am at greater risk. 

Can you tell me if my son is right, or if I actually could be at greater risk because of my condition.

Thank you both for all you do. So many of us learn from you every week.


A loyal listener 

Sharon writes:

Dr. Griffin,

I received my Evusheld injections at the beginning of August 2022 and have been following the latest data on new variants and whether Evusheld will be effective against them. At what point would the makers of Evusheld be able to retool the contents for coverage of future variants? How does this work?

Thank you,


Sharon writes:

Hi Dr. Griffin,

First & foremost…many thanks to the Twiv team… for your great educational support! Delighted you are there to keep us informed with data driven information. Here’s my situation …I have a 27-year-old nephew who had Covid, presumably BA5, in July 2022 and received betelovimab in response because he has type 1 diabetes since the age of 2, he is overweight and also takes a biologic for psoriasis. He has three Pfizer shots, recent infection, & treatment monoclonals. Should he get the bivalent vaccine now, or wait a longer period of time?

Thank you,


Sandra writes:

Dr Griffin,

I’m a regular listener of your weekly updates and work in healthcare as a family practice nurse. I have a question about the current antivirals.

It sounds like all the available treatment options are either hard to access, such as IV remdesivir; or have unfavorable safety profiles, such as molnupiravir; or can’t be coadministered with many commonly prescribed meds, such as paxlovid. Aside from the monoclonals, which are not for everyone, are their any other options coming down the pike that will be safer and less cumbersome to prescribe? Or, is the recommendation to just “ride out” the virus when the current treatments are not appropriate?

Many thanks, and thank you for the work you have done throughout the pandemic to educate the public and preserve human life.