Vaccination offers protection to AIIRD patients, but only a few get vaxxed

05 Mar 2023
COVID-19 vaccine safe in people with rheumatic diseases

Vaccines are safe and effective in patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic disease (AIIRD), according to several physicians who participated in a recent international survey. However, many of the respondents are also responsible for not encouraging their patients to get vaccinated.

“Physicians who care for patients with AIIRD agree that vaccines are effective and safe in patients with AIIRD,” the authors said. “Unfortunately, they often do not ensure that their patients are adequately vaccinated.”

In this study, physicians from across the globe who were treating adult patients with AIIRD were invited to accomplish an online survey about their views on vaccination in this population. The authors then assessed the perspective of the participating physicians toward vaccination.

A total of 370 physicians responded to the online survey. Of these, 41.1 percent were from Asia, 41.6 percent from North America, 13.8 percent from Europe, and 3.5 percent from other countries.

Survey respondents declared that vaccination coverage was primarily within the scope of responsibilities of rheumatologists (58.2 percent), followed by general internists (19.3 percent) and family medicine practitioners (12.8 percent).

Majority of the physicians also agreed that vaccination was “very important” (≥4/5 rating) for patients with AIIRD. However, even with this consideration, only one-third (37 percent) reported vaccinating the majority (≥60 percent) of their patients.

“Further studies are needed to investigate how to improve vaccination coverage for this high-risk patient population,” the authors said.

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