Two-dose COVID-19 vaccination and possible arthritis flare among patients with rheumatoid arthritis in Hong Kong
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  • Published on:
    Vaccinations and rheumatoid arthritis: no problem?
    • Chokan Baimukhamedov, rheumatologist South Kazakhstan Medical Academy, Shymkent Medical Centre of Joint Diseases
    • Other Contributors:
      • Aliya Botabekova, rheumatologist
      • Shosaid Makhmudov, rheumatologist

    Dear Editor,
    We read the article [1] that was published online in ARD on 22 October 2021 with great interest. Many thanks and respect to the authors of this study. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first large retrospective cohort study to have addressed this problem. Vaccination of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) is one of the most important issues for rheumatologists. We have also studied this problem. Our paper has been included in the references. [2] Arthritis after vaccination has been debated for a long time, [3,4] and the main question is "Consequence or coincidence?". [5] There are already several reports of RA flares after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, [6–8] and some reports of flares in other MSDs. [9] In Korea, five unusual cases of polyarthralgia and myalgia syndrome were reported in patients after vaccination. [10] However, all these studies are case reports or case series. The cohort study in The BMJ [1] will be one of the major studies drawing up national recommendations for vaccination of patients with RA. Therefore, it is necessary to carefully examine any points that may lead to incorrect conclusions.
    It seems to us that the conclusion, "there is no increased risk of possible flare following two doses of COVID-19 vaccination" is unambiguous and insufficiently substantiated. Perhaps such a conclusion can be drawn correctly only for strong flares (requiring hospitalisation)...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.