Sumary of COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe for People With Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases, Experience in Israel Shows:
- Since the COVID-19 vaccines were first authorized in the United States, people with autoimmune rheumatic disease have wondered whether the vaccines are safe and effective, especially for those taking medications..
- The questions arose because people with these diseases, which include rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, axial spondylitis, lupus, and vasculitis, were specifically excluded from the clinical trials..
- Researchers offered the first signs of reassurance when they presented a real-world study, published in May 2021 in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, of the experience in Israel, which followed nearly 700 people with these diseases..
- It currently leads the world in vaccinating its population, with more than 63 percent having received at least one dose, according to an international vaccine database..
- That made the country a natural location to study the shot immune response and safety in people with rheumatic diseases, the study author, Victoria Furer, MD, a rheumatologist at Tel Aviv University, reported at the conference..
- Researchers from three major centers in Israel — Tel Aviv Medical Center, Carmel Medical Center, and Hadassah Medical Center — participated in the study..
- They tracked 686 people with these conditions, the majority of whom had RA and psoriatic arthritis and were taking medicines to control their disease, after they got each dose of the two-shot Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine..
- The vast majority of people with these conditions, some 86 percent, mounted a strong immune response to their inoculations, although this percentage did fall short of the 100 percent seen in the control group….