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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.

Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology ; 05:05, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1989188


OBJECTIVES: Anti-COVID-19 vaccines have proved to be effective and well tolerated. Great attention is now being paid to the characterisation of possible adverse events associated to their administration. We report a case series of suspected rheumatic diseases (RDs) following anti-COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: We included patients evaluated at first-aid rheumatologic consultancy and at rheumatologic outpatient and inpatient clinic at Padova University Hospital between May and September 2021 presenting with a RD within 30 days after an anti-COVID-19 vaccine dose. Our selection was in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines for adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) surveillance. Patients were regularly re-evaluated by telemedicine or face-to-face visit. RESULTS: We identified 30 cases of RD following vaccination: 24 (80.0%) new onsets and 6 (20.0%) flares. Most of patients (76.6%) received the BNT162b2 vaccine. The mean time to RD onset/flare was 12+/-9 days. The most common manifestations were inflammatory arthritis (40.0%), rheumatic polymyalgia (33.3%) and adult-onset Still's disease (13.3%). At the last FU visit (9.6+/-2.2 months), 83.3% of patients showed complete response to first- or second-line therapy, 13.3% a partial response and one patient (3.3%) was still experiencing an active disease. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the amount of vaccine doses administered during the evaluation period we overall detected a limited number of cases. We noted a clear prevalence of autoinflammatory conditions and seronegative manifestations. The great majority of patients had mild features and showed a good response to therapy.

J Autoimmun ; 112: 102502, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-595406


BACKGROUND: Whether patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD) have a higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) and how SARS-CoV-2 pandemic impacts on adherence to therapy has not been fully elucidated. We assessed the rate and clinical presentation of COVID-19, and adherence to therapy in a large cohort of patients with ARD followed-up in a tertiary University-Hospital in Northeast Italy. METHODS: Between April 9th and April 25th, 2020, after SARS-CoV-2 infection peak, a telephone survey investigating the impact of COVID-19 on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), and idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) was administered. Demographics, disease activity status, therapy, occupational exposure, and adherence to social distancing advise were also collected. RESULTS: 916 patients (397 SLE, 182 AAV, 176 SSc, 111 RA, 50 IIM) completed the survey. 148 patients developed at least one symptom compatible with COVID-19 (cough 96, sore throat 64, fever 64, arthromyalgias 59, diarrhea 26, conjunctivitis 18, ageusia/hyposmia, 18). Among the 916 patients, 65 (7.1%) underwent SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab (18 symptomatic and 47 asymptomatic), 2 (0.21%) tested positive, a proportion similar to that observed in the general population of the Veneto region. No deaths occurred. 31 patients (3.4%) withdrew ≥1 medication, mainly immunosuppressants or biologics. Adoption of social distancing was observed by 860 patients (93.9%), including 335 (36.6%) who adopted it before official lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 incidence seems to be similar in our cohort compared to the general population. Adherence to therapy and to social distancing advise was high.

Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Autoimmune Diseases/diagnosis , Autoimmune Diseases/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Rheumatic Diseases/diagnosis , Rheumatic Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2