Joint Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccination and Osteoporosis Management

Dear OSS Members

Message from the OSS President and ExCo

As the COVID-19 Situation continues around the world, the OSS hopes that you and your family stay safe and healthy as we come out of the Circuit Breaker period.

Please keep in mind that older adults, and people who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or lung, heart or kidney disease, are at higher risk of the more serious complications of COVID-19 illness. We urge you to continue to stay safe by taking the necessary precautions as recommended by the government, such as staying home except for the most essential activities.

We would also like to reassure people with osteoporosis that having osteoporosis or taking medications for it do not increase your risk of either contracting COVID-19 or having serious complications from COVID-19.

However, now more than ever, staying fracture-free is critical for anyone with osteoporosis. Healthcare workers are already busy with the virus and it is always best to stay out of hospitals.

·        Remain active by walking outdoors when it is less crowded, or doing home exercises. These are readily available on TV, YouTube, or apps such as Home Workout, Daily Workout, Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout and many others. You can also work on your strength exercises with a resistance band using exercises from Older people can practise sit to stands and half squats. Dr Manju Chandran has kindly shared the SGH home exercises: To improve balance, A/Prof Lau Tang Ching has shared home taichi exercises . Some helpful Otago exercises are included in this attachment and also available online. (Example: Video 1 & Video 2)

·        Eat well and continue to take adequate calcium, Vitamin D and protein to prevent bone and muscle loss.

·        Make sure you stick to good sleep hygiene habits to get enough good quality sleep. 

·        Preventing falls is vital: ensure that you continue to use good footwear and that your home environment is obstacle free, especially if children are at home much more than usual.

·        Do not discontinue any osteoporosis medication (including calcium and vitamin D supplements) which you have been prescribed, before talking to your doctor.

·        Doctors can arrange to prolong your appointment date, and write a prescription for your oral medications to be sent by home delivery or for personal pickup. Doctors can also arrange for Telemedicine with a phone or video consult. Do let your doctor know if you are feeling anxious or even depressed.

·        Maintain contact with family and friends by telephone or email – physical isolation doesn’t have to be social isolation!

·        Don’t hesitate to ask for the support you need for shopping, getting prescriptions filled, or other errands.

·        Don’t forget to wear your mask when outside of the home


Advice regarding Osteoporosis Medications

·        If your doctor’s appointment for review prior to your yearly infusion of Zoledronate (Aclasta) is postponed, a temporary delay of a few months will not have a long-term effect on your bone health. However, if you are taking subcutaneous Denosumab or Prolia, it is important that your next injection isn’t delayed for more than four weeks, as the benefits wear off quickly after 6 months, and you will rapidly revert to baseline fracture risk. Be sure to contact your doctor and reschedule as soon as possible so that the benefits of treatment are maintained. If you are feeling unwell and miss any oral tablets, don’t forget to resume your usual dose as soon as you feel well enough again.

Let’s all stay safe, and fracture-free, by following the critical guidance that will help protect all older adults and those who are more vulnerable to the impact of this global virus.

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