SARS-CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy among patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases: a message for rheumatologists
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  • Published on:
    Response to: “SARS- CoV-2 vaccine hesitancy among patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases: a message for rheumatologists” by Priori et al. (2021).
    • Marco Garrido-Cumbrera, Prof. Health & Territory Research (HTR), Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain
    • Other Contributors:
      • Victoria Navarro-Compán, MD; PhD; MSc.
      • Laura Christen, MSc.
      • José Correa-Fernández, Biostat
      • Helena Marzo-Ortega, MD; PhD.

    Sir, we read with interest the recent communication by Priori et al. (2021) reporting that patients with rheumatic musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) in Italy are less willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccination than healthy controls and that they are more likely to perceive themselves at higher risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 and developing severe COVID-19 [1]. These data are somehow at odds with our observations from patients with RMDs from other seven European countries who took part in the REUMAVID study [2].

    REUMAVID is an international cross-sectional study using an online survey of unselected patients with 15 RMDs from seven European countries (United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Greece, and Cyprus). A total of 2,002 patients participated in the second phase between February and April 2021. At that time, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) had approved four COVID-19 vaccines: BioNTech Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford AstraZeneca, and Janssen [3]. Significant differences in the roll out speed and vaccine availability between countries contributed to global anxiety created by the rapid development of the vaccines. Like our Italian colleagues, we were keen to explore patients’ willingness to get the vaccination and factors associated with possible unwillingness to do so.

    Contrary to the report by Priori et al. (2021), our results show that the majority of survey respondents were either willing to be (82.8%, n= 1,657) or had already been vaccinat...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    VN-C reports honoraria/research support from: Abbvie, BMS, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and UCB.

    LC is an employee of Novartis Pharma AG.

    HM-O reports grant/research support from: Janssen and Novartis, consultant for: AbbVie, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB, speakers’ bureau: AbbVie, Biogen, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Takeda and UCB. HM-O is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leeds Biomedical Research Centre.