Objectives To describe the safety of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 in people with inflammatory/autoimmune rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (I-RMD).
Methods Physician-reported registry of I-RMD and non-inflammatory RMD (NI-RMDs) patients vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. From 5 February 2021 to 27 July 2021, we collected data on demographics, vaccination, RMD diagnosis, disease activity, immunomodulatory/immunosuppressive treatments, flares, adverse events (AEs) and SARS-CoV-2 breakthrough infections. Data were analysed descriptively.
Results The study included 5121 participants from 30 countries, 90% with I-RMDs (n=4604, 68% female, mean age 60.5 years) and 10% with NI-RMDs (n=517, 77% female, mean age 71.4). Inflammatory joint diseases (58%), connective tissue diseases (18%) and vasculitis (12%) were the most frequent diagnostic groups; 54% received conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), 42% biological DMARDs and 35% immunosuppressants. Most patients received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (70%), 17% AstraZeneca/Oxford and 8% Moderna. In fully vaccinated cases, breakthrough infections were reported in 0.7% of I-RMD patients and 1.1% of NI-RMD patients. I-RMD flares were reported in 4.4% of cases (0.6% severe), 1.5% resulting in medication changes. AEs were reported in 37% of cases (37% I-RMD, 40% NI-RMD), serious AEs in 0.5% (0.4% I-RMD, 1.9% NI-RMD).
Conclusion The safety profiles of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in patients with I-RMD was reassuring and comparable with patients with NI-RMDs. The majority of patients tolerated their vaccination well with rare reports of I-RMD flare and very rare reports of serious AEs. These findings should provide reassurance to rheumatologists and vaccine recipients and promote confidence in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine safety in I-RMD patients.
- autoimmune diseases
- antirheumatic agents
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request. Applications to access the data should be made to the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR).
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Handling editor Josef S Smolen
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Collaborators In addition to the authors listed above, the following colleagues also contributed to the EULAR COVAX Registry by submitting at least 10 cases each: Viviane Queyrel, Julien Henry, Raphaele Seror, Eric Toussirot, Emoke Stenova, Azeddine Dellal, Vanda Mlynarikova, Romain Forestier, François Lamer, Hélène Maillard, Amélie Leurs, Thierry Zenone, Daniel Wendling, Amélie Florent, Theodoros Dimitroulas, Simona Rednic, Bernard Combe, Yves Piette, Jozef Odnoga, Giovanna Cuomo, Ioannis Raftakis, Jean-Camille Meric, Sylvain Lanot, Marion Mirabel, Mikhail Protopopov, Katalin Törõcsik, John Brockbank, Marion Jacob, Pascal Coquerelle, Christophe Richez, Elisabeth Gervais, Séverine Verlinden, Antoine Froissart, Fabienne Roux, Marion Couderc, Renaud Desbarbieux, Alojzija Hocevar, Pierre-Yves Jeandel, Sophie Rivière, Luciana Popa, Fabienne Coury, Inita Bulina, Jean-Jacques Dubost, Lionel Spielmann, Marie-Hélène Guyot, Nicolas Deseyne, Isabelle Amigues, Dagmar Mičeková, Loraine Gauzere, Gaëlle Viadere, Natalia de la Torre-Rubio, Victor Strotz.
Contributors PMM is responsible for the overall content as the guarantor, and accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. PMM and SL-T had access to the study data, developed the figures and tables, wrote the first draft of the manuscript and vouch for the data and analyses. PMM, KLH, LG, AR, BR, CD, EH, EV, ES, GRB, GKY, JAG-P, JZ, LF, LK-F, MCU, MM, MCo, MS, NR, OB, PD, RC, TG and XM contributed to data collection and interpretation of the data. PMM, SL-T, AS, EFM, KLH, LG, LC, EH, MM, GRB, JWJB, IBM and XM contributed to study design and questionnaire development. PMM directed the work and had final responsibility for the decision to submit for publication. All authors contributed intellectual content during the drafting and revision of the work and approved the final version to be published.
Competing interests PMM has received consulting/speaker’s fees from Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Galapagos, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Orphazyme, Pfizer, Roche and UCB, all unrelated to this manuscript, and is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), University College London Hospitals (UCLH), Biomedical Research Centre. SL-T does not report conflicts of interest. AS has received personal fees from lectures for AbbVie, MSD, Lilly, Roche, BMS and Pfizer. EFM has received personal consultant fees from Boehringer Ingelheim Portugal, Lda; LPCDR received support for specific activities: grants from Abbvie, Novartis, Lilly Portugal, Amgen Biofarmacêutica, Grünenthal S.A., MSD, Medac and from A. Menarini Portugal - Farmacêutica, S.A.; grants and non-financial support from Pfizer, and non-financial support from Grünenthal GmbH, outside the submitted work. KLH has received non-personal speaker’s fees from Abbvie and grant income from BMS, UCB and Pfizer, all unrelated to this manuscript, and is supported by the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre. LG has received personal consultant fees from AbbVie, Amgen, BMS, Galapagos, Gilead, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Samsung Bioepis, Sanofi-Aventis and UCB, and grants from Amgen, Galapagos, Lilly, Pfizer, Sandoz and Sanofi, all unrelated to this manuscript. LC has not received any fees or personal grants from any laboratory, but her institute works by contract for laboratories among other institutions, such as Abbvie Spain, Eisai, Gebro Pharma, Merck Sharp & Dohme España, S.A., Novartis Farmaceutica, Pfizer, Roche Farma, Sanofi Aventis, Astellas Pharma, Actelion Pharmaceuticals España, Grünenthal GmbH and UCB Pharma. AR has received research grants and consultant fees from Amgen and Pfizer, all unrelated to this manuscript. BR does not report conflicts of interest. CD does not report conflicts of interest. EH does not report conflicts of interest. EV reports personal consultant fees from Theramex, unrelated to this manuscript. ES does not report conflicts of interest. G-RRB reports personal consultant fees from AbbVie, Amgen, BMS, Galapagos, Gilead, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB, all unrelated to this manuscript. GKY does not report conflicts of interest. JAG-P reports speaker fees from Abbvie, Astra-Zeneca, BMS, Galapagos, GSK, Janssen, Lilly, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis and Roche, all unrelated to this manuscript. JZ reports speaker fees from Abbvie, Novartis, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, all unrelated to this manuscript. LK-F does not report conflicts of interest. LT does not report conflicts of interest. MCu does not report conflicts of interest. MM does not report conflicts of interest. MCo does not report conflicts of interest. MS does not report conflicts of interest. NR does not report conflicts of interest. OB does not report conflicts of interest. PD does not report conflicts of interest. RC reports speaker’s fees from Janssen, Roche, Sanofi, Abbvie, all unrelated to this work. TG does not report conflicts of interest. JWJB does not report conflicts of interest. IM does not report conflicts of interest. XM reports personal consultant fees from BMS, Galapagos, Gilead, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, UCB and grant from Ose, all unrelated to this manuscript.
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