Safety of COVID-19 vaccines and disease flares after vaccines in children with rheumatic disease

Postgrad Med. 2022 May 17;1-6. doi: 10.1080/00325481.2022.2074700. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Wide spread availability of safe and effective vaccines for COVID-19 in all countries is the best hope to end the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in developing countries, the hesitancy of the society about vaccination is an important problem in terms of public health. This study aimed to investigate the acceptability and tolerability of COVID-19 vaccines in the pediatric population diagnosed with rheumatic disease, as well as the attitudes toward these vaccines.

Methods: This is an observational, cross sectional, single center study. Pediatric patients with at least one diagnosis of rheumatic disease were included in this study to investigate patient and family acceptability and safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

Results: A total of 228 patients with rheumatic disease were included in this study. Ninety nine (43.4%) of the patients were juvenile idiopathic arthritis. One hundred and five (46%) of the patients were using biological agent treatment for their rheumatic disease, whereas 123 (54%) of the patients were not. No serious adverse effect related to the COVID-19 vaccine were observed in any of the patients. No disease activation was observed in any of them.

Conclusion: There are only a few studies evaluating of the safety and disease flare of COVID-19 vaccines in children with rheumatic disease. Although this study has some limitations, such as the small sample size of patients with different diagnoses, it appears that there is no increase in COVID-19 vaccination-related harms in the patients with rheumatic disease.

Keywords: Adverse effects; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 vaccine; childhood-onset rheumatic disease; flare.