COVID-19 Vaccine Outcomes in Dermatomyositis Patients

January 4, 2022

A recent study published in Clinical Rheumatology evaluated the safety and efficacy of the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines in 6,103 dermatomyositis (DM) patients compared to non-DM patients.

DM patients were not observed to have a difference in anaphylaxis (allergic reactions) one day post-vaccination. DM patients were also not observed to experience adverse events of special interest, breakthrough infection, or all-cause hospitalization at 30 days post-vaccination compared to controls. At 60 days post-vaccination, the DM group was observed to be at greater risk for adverse events of special interest compared to controls, albeit very small (absolute risk was .6%). No differences were observed for breakthrough infection or all-cause hospitalization at 60 days post-vaccination. DMARDs and glucocorticosteroids did not impact the risk of adverse events of special interest, breakthrough infection, or all-cause hospitalization at 1, 30, or 60 days post-vaccination.

While the absolute risk of adverse events in DM patients was small, “the statistically significant rise in 60-day vaccine adverse events may be attributed to autoimmunity being triggered or change in immunosuppressive treatment in patients with autoimmune diseases.” The authors of this study note that the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risks in this population given this small percentage of absolute risk.





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