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Does COVID-19 vaccination affect rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease flares?

08/04/2021

In a study of 1,377 patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases—such as inflammatory arthritis and lupus—flares of their conditions were uncommon following two-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. 

In the Arthritis & Rheumatology study, 11% of patients reported flares after vaccination that required treatment, and there were no reports of severe flares. Flares were associated with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, flares in the six months preceding vaccination, and use of combination immunomodulatory therapy.  

“'Our findings demonstrate that the vaccines are safe and should alleviate the safety concerns of any hesitant patients,” said first author Caoilfhionn Connolly, MD, MSc, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “This study highlights that most of our rheumatic patients tolerated the vaccine well with mostly having local reactions such as injection site pain, which was quite reassuring, but most importantly, we did not observe any severe flares of their underlying autoimmune disease,” added co–senior author Julie J. Paik, MD, MHS, also of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  

Additional Information

Link to Study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/art.41924

About Journal

Arthritis & Rheumatology, an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology, is a peer-reviewed publication for scientists and clinicians interested in the natural history, pathophysiology, treatment, and outcome of the rheumatic diseases. Arthritis & Rheumatology publishes the highest quality basic and clinical research related to the rheumatic diseases, encompassing a wide range of areas of investigative activity. In addition, the journal publishes review articles, editorials, and other educational material intended for both researchers and clinicians. Serving the worldwide community of rheumatology investigators and clinicians, Arthritis & Rheumatology is known internationally as a top rheumatology research journal.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global leader in research and education, unlocking human potential by enabling discovery, powering education, and shaping workforces. For over 200 years, Wiley has fueled the world’s knowledge ecosystem. Today, our high-impact content, platforms, and services help researchers, learners, institutions, and corporations achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. Visit us at  Wiley.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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