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Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:948-949, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2008966


Background: Since the COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched all over Europe, there has been general agreement on how benefts of SARS-CoV2 vaccines outweigh the risks in patients with rare connective tissue diseases (rCTDs). Yet, there is still limited evidence regarding safety and efficacy of such vaccines in these patients, especially in the long-term. For this reason, in the framework of ERN-ReCONNET, an observational long-term study (VACCINATE) was designed in order to explore the long-term outcome of COVID-19 vaccination in rCTDs patients. The consent form was developed thanks to the involvement of the ERN ReCONNET ePAG Advocates (European Patients Advocacy Group). Objectives: To evaluate the safety profile of COVID-19 vaccination in rCTDs patients and the potential impact on disease activity. Primary endpoints were the prevalence of adverse events (AEs) and of disease exacerbations post-vaccination. Secondary endpoints were the proportion of serious adverse events (SAEs) and adverse events of special interest for COVID-19 (adapted from AESI-update-23Dec2020-review-fnal.pdf) Methods: The frst ad-interim analysis of the VACCINATE study involved 9 ERN-ReCONNET Network centres. Patients over 18 years of age with a known rCTD and who received vaccine against COVID-19 were eligible for recruitment. Demographic data and diagnoses were collected at the time of enrolment, while the appearance of AEs and potential disease exacerbations were monitored after one week from each vaccination dose, and then after 4, 12 and 24 weeks from the second dose. A disease exacerbation was defned as at least one of the following: new manifestations attributable to disease activity, hospital-ization, increase in PGA from previous evaluation, addition of corticosteroids or immunosuppressants. Results: A cohort of 300 patients (261 females, mean age 52, range 18-85) was recruited. Systemic lupus erythematosus (44%) and systemic sclerosis (16%) were the most frequent diagnoses, followed by Sjogren's syndrome (SS,12%), idiopathic infammatory myositis (IMM,10%), undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD,8%), mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD,4%), Ehlers-Dan-los's syndrome (EDS,4%), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS,2%). AEs appearing 7 days after the frst and second doses were reported in 93 (31%) and 96 (32%) patients respectively, mainly represented by fatigue, injection site reaction, headache, fever and myalgia. Otitis, urticaria, Herpes Simplex-related rash, stomatitis, migraine with aura, vertigo, tinnitus and sleepiness were reported with very low frequency. Less than 2% of patients experienced AEs within 24 weeks from the second dose. No SAEs or AEs of special interest were observed in the study period. There were 25 disease exacerbations (8%), 7 of which severe. The highest number of exacerbations was observed after 4 weeks from the second dose (12 within week 4, 6 within week 12 and 7 within week 24). Disease exacerbation was most frequent in patients with EDS (33%) and MCTD (25%). Conclusion: This preliminary analysis shows that COVID-19 vaccination is safe in rCTDs patients. AEs appear most often early after vaccination and are usually mild. Disease exacerbations are not frequent, but can be potentially severe and tend to occur most frequently within the frst month after vaccination. Exacerbations can also occur 3-6 months after vaccination, although a causal relationship with the vaccination remains to be established. Our present data underline the importance of long-term observational studies.

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 80(SUPPL 1):908, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1358861


Background: Vitamin D regulates the innate and adaptive immune system responses and low vitamin D levels have been associated with the increased risk of respiratory tract infections (1). Vitamin D deficiency has been recently reported to interfere with the prognosis of COVID-19 (2,3). Objectives: The aim of this study was to correlate the 25OH-vitamin D serum levels with lung involvement and disease severity, in a cohort of elderly patients hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods: Sixty-five COVID-19 patients (mean age 76±13 years) and sixty-five sex-and age-matched control subjects (CNT) were included in the study. Respiratory parameters (PaO2, SO2, PaCO2, PaO2/FiO2), clinical and laboratory parameters (including 25OH-vitamin D, D-dimer, C-reactive protein) and type of radiological pulmonary involvement were collected at hospital admission. Statistical analysis was performed by non-parametric tests. Results: Vitamin D sufficiency (≥30 ng/ml), insufficiency (between 20 and 30 ng/ ml), deficiency (between 10 and 20 ng/ml) and severe deficiency (<10 ng/ml) were observed respectively in 11, 11, 21 and 57 % of COVID-19 patients. Vitamin D serum levels were found significantly lower in COVID-19 patients than in CNT (median 8 vs 16 ng/ml, p=0.001). A statistically significant positive correlation was observed between vitamin D serum levels and SO2 (p=0.05), PaO2 (p=0.03), PaO2/FiO2 (p=0.02). A statistically significant negative correlation was found between vitamin D serum levels and severity of radiologic pulmonary involvement: vitamin D was significantly lower in COVID-19 patients with either diffuse/ severe interstitial lung involvement (p=0.05) or multiple lung consolidations (p=0.0001) than in those with mild radiological lung involvement. Significantly lower vitamin D serum levels were found in COVID-19 patients who died during hospitalization, compared to those who survived (median 3 vs 8 ng/ml, p=0.05). Finally, a statistically significant negative correlation was found between vitamin D serum levels and D-dimer (p=0.04), C-reactive protein (p=0.04) and disease duration (p=0.05). Conclusion: This study confirms that severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with more severe lung involvement, longer disease duration and risk of death in elderly COVID-19 patients.

Arthritis & Rheumatology ; 72:2, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1017601