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Reumatologia . Autoimmune rheumatic diseases and COVID-19 vaccination: a retrospective cross-sectional study from Astana

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  • Reumatologia . Autoimmune rheumatic diseases and COVID-19 vaccination: a retrospective cross-sectional study from Astana

    Reumatologia


    . 2024;62(1):26-34.
    doi: 10.5114/reum/184335. Epub 2024 Mar 18. Autoimmune rheumatic diseases and COVID-19 vaccination: a retrospective cross-sectional study from Astana

    Kristina Rutskaya-Moroshan 1 , Saule Abisheva 1 , Madina Sarsenova 2 , Vyacheslav Ogay 3 , Tatyana Vinnik 4 , Bakyt Aubakirova 5 , Anilim Abisheva 1



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Introduction: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus has had an unprecedented impact on people around the world, particularly those who were suffering from autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRDs). The world community acknowledges the significance of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with autoimmune disorders and emphasizes the priority of this category to receive vaccination over the general population. Although many studies have been published since the first phases of vaccination all over the world, multiple related factors still need to be further investigated.
    Material and methods: We investigated the COVID-19 vaccination status in patients with AIRDs, by performing a cross-sectional, interview-based study filled in by patients attending their clinics in the Astana city, capital of Kazakhstan, from April to July 2023. The survey questionnaire consisted of a set of questions, concerning patient characteristics, treatment details, accepted vaccines and characteristics of COVID-19 infection. The study objectives were to evaluate vaccine hesitancy, adverse effects, breakthrough infections and flare of underlying rheumatic disease in this population subgroup.
    Results: There were 193 participants, with a median age of 50.3 ±12.9 years. Among them, 62 (32.1%) were vaccinated with at least single dose of vaccine, 16 (25.8%) of whom were fully vaccinated. The commonest (89; 68%) reason for vaccine hesitancy was a fear of autoimmune disease worsening. Vaccine-related adverse effects (AEs) were reported by 66.7% of patients. We found that vaccination provoked AIRD exacerbation in 19% of patients with AEs. Eight patients reported flare of pre-existing rheumatic disease after vaccination. The incidence of breakthrough infections was similar in the groups of vaccinated individuals (n = 12), 12.9% of whom were partially and 6.5% fully vaccinated.
    Conclusions: The vaccination was found to be safe in patients with rheumatic diseases. Fear of autoimmune status was the major reason for vaccine reluctance. All reported adverse events were minor. The minority subgroup within the sample had subsequent breakthrough infections or autoimmune disease flare-ups.

    Keywords: COVID-19 vaccine; adverse effect; autoimmune disease; breakthrough infection.

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