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12-02-2021 | COVID-19 | News

News in brief

ACR releases clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccination

Author: Claire Barnard


medwireNews: The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has issued clinical guidance recommending COVID-19 vaccination for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs).

“Although there is limited data from large population-based studies, it appears that patients with autoimmune and inflammatory conditions are at a higher risk for developing hospitalized COVID-19 compared to the general population and have worse outcomes associated with infection,” said Jeffrey Curtis, chair of the ACR COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Guidance Task Force, in a press release.

“Based on this concern, the benefit of COVID-19 vaccination outweighs any small, possible risks for new autoimmune reactions or disease flare after vaccination,” he added.

The guidance was developed by a taskforce comprising nine rheumatologists, two infectious disease specialists, and two public health experts, and includes general advice on COVID-19 vaccination in RMD patients as well as considerations for people with high disease activity and those taking immunosuppressive therapies.

“There was vigorous debate on several topics such as the expected magnitude of benefit of vaccination for patients receiving therapies that substantially alter or suppress the immune system (e.g., high dose steroids),” said Curtis, noting that “[u]ltimately, the task force agreed that in almost all cases, proceeding with vaccination and obtaining at least a partial response would be better than deferring vaccination.”

The guidance is currently available in draft form and has been submitted to a journal for peer review. It is intended to be a “living document” and will be updated as additional evidence becomes available.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

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