COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Side Effects Among Individuals with Rheumatic Disease
Authors: Kaleb Michaud et al.
Since patients with autoimmune diseases were excluded from the initial trials of the COVID-19 vaccines, the tolerance of these vaccines in this patient population has been somewhat uncertain. Participants in the American FORWARD cohort reported their tolerance with the mRNA vaccines. Of the nearly 2000 participants, 48% reported experiencing some side effect, such as arm tenderness, fatigue, muscle aches, or headaches. The incidence of these benign side effects were significantly higher with the Moderna vaccine than with the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine. Side effects were associated with female sex and ‘COVID-19 specific stress’.
Interestingly, the incidence of vaccination related side effects were rather lower in patients with RMDs compared to the general population, which may be related to the lack of reactogenicity of patients receiving immunosuppressants. The difference in incidence of side effects between available mRNA vaccines was small, and confirms similar data from other sources. Since the choice between vaccines is a common question from patients it may be relevant to know these facts to give patients a full information.