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COVID-19 Vaccines Seem Safe in Rheumatic, Musculoskeletal Disease Patients

Disease flare requiring treatment reported in 11 percent following two-dose mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, with no reports of severe flare

hands of a person with arthritis

THURSDAY, Aug. 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMD), flare is uncommon following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mRNA vaccination, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Caoilfhionn M. Connolly, M.D., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues examined disease flare and postvaccination reactions in 1,377 patients with RMD following two-dose SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination. Questionnaires were completed detailing local and systemic reactions experienced within seven days of each vaccine dose, and RMD flare was assessed within one month after the second dose.

The researchers found that 11 percent reported flare that necessitated treatment, but there were no reports of severe flares. There were associations seen for flare with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, flare in the six months preceding vaccination, and use of combination immunomodulatory therapy (incidence rate ratios, 2.09, 2.36, and 1.95, respectively). Injection site pain and fatigue were the most commonly reported local and systemic reactions; reactogenicity increased after the second dose, especially for systemic reactions. There were no reports of allergic reactions or SARS-CoV-2 diagnoses.

"There were no findings that warranted concern about the safety of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination in patients with RMD," the authors write. "These early data can continue to address vaccine hesitancy in this patient population."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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