This is a summary, written by members of the CITF Secretariat, of:

Hazlewood GS, Colmegna I, Hitchon C, Fortin PR, Bernatsky S, Clarke AE, Mosher D, Wilson T, Thomas M, Barber C, Harrison M, Bansback N, Proulx L, Richards DP, Kaplan GG. Preferences for COVID-19 vaccination in people with chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. J Rheumatol. 2023 Jan 15:jrheum.220697. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.220697.

The results and/or conclusions contained in the research do not necessarily reflect the views of all CITF members.

A CITF-funded study published in The Journal of Rheumatology highlighted that people with chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs) perceived the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination as outweighing their concerns over rare, though serious side effects and potential disease flare. The study was led by Dr. Gilaad Kaplan (University of Calgary) in collaboration with Dr. Sasha Bernatsky (McGill University).

Key takeaways:

  • Among considerations as to whether to be vaccinated, those with IMIDs cited vaccine effectiveness as most important (relative importance = 66%), followed by disease flare (21%), rare but serious risks (9%), and the number/timing of shots (4%).
  • In comparing vaccine effectiveness and disease flare, participants would accept a marginal gain in vaccine effectiveness of 10% provided the risk of disease flare requiring a change to their treatment for IMID was less than 8.8%.
  • The group with the greatest aversion to disease flare was more likely to be male and have lower income. However, this group still valued vaccine effectiveness above other considerations.

The study Is based on an online survey of people with IMIDs to quantify the relative importance of attributes relevant to COVID-19 vaccination. The survey was completed by 551 people (89% female, mean age 46 years) with a range of IMIDs (48% inflammatory bowel disease, 38% rheumatoid arthritis, 16% systemic lupus erythematosus). Most respondents had received one (94%) or two (64%) vaccine doses. Participants were recruited between May and August 2021 through patient groups and clinics in Canada.