Rheumatic disease (RD) patients are more likely to get COVID-19 infection. Large-scale clinical studies have proven the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine’s effectiveness and safety. Patients with RD, however, were often not included in the trials. Therefore, for a study, researchers sought to determine the immunogenicity and safety of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in patients with RD.

To find observational studies that investigated the immunogenicity and safety of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in RD patients, they thoroughly searched PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus. Each study provided data on the disease, immunosuppressant, vaccine type, and percentage of patients with a serologic response.

There were 25 studies that qualified. The combined seroconversion rate was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.72-0.86). However, the probabilities of seroconversion were considerably reduced compared to control patients (odds ratio, 0.11; 95% CI, 0.05-0.24). The lowest rate of seroconversion was seen among rituximab users (0.39; 95% CI, 0.29-0.51), followed by mycophenolate (0.56; 95% CI, 0.40-71). On the other hand, Interleukin 17 and tumor necrosis factor inhibitor users demonstrated substantial seroconversion rates (0.94; 95% CI, 0.78–0.98). Regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine, 7% of patients experienced illness flare-ups after receiving the first or second dosage, and 2% had serious side effects.

The SARS-CoV-2 vaccine seemed to be risk-free. Following immunization, the majority of RD patients experienced a humoral immune response. In contrast to controls, the probabilities of seroconversion were noticeably lower in RD patients. Certain immunosuppressants, such as rituximab and mycophenolate, are probably to blame for this. Future research must pinpoint tactics to enhance these patients’ vaccine responses.

Reference: journals.lww.com/jclinrheum/Abstract/2022/12000/Immunogenicity_and_Safety_of_SARS_CoV_2.1.aspx