Focus ON A STUDY
THE VAXICOV STUDY
Vaccination against COVID-19: Expectations and concerns of patients with autoimmune and rheumatic diseases
We conducted an international survey about expectations and potential concerns regarding SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in patients with systemic autoimmune or inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRDs) and healthcare professionals.The online study consisted of 57 questions which addressed determinants associated with SARS-2-CoV-2 vaccine willingness. Dissemination was ensured through social media and patient associations between December 12 and December 21, 2020.The study included 1266 patients with AIIRDs and 265 healthcare professionals from 56 countries. SARS-CoV-2 vaccine willingness was reported by 54.2% of AIIRD patients (uncertainty in 32.2% and unwillingness in 13.6%) and 74.0% of healthcare professionals. In patients, the willingness to get vaccinated increased significantly with age (p<0.0001) and was strongly associated with the fear to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 (p<0.0001) or to develop severe COVID19 (p<0.0001) but not with presence of additional comorbidities (p=0.71) or immunocompromised status (p=0.94). In healthcare professionals, willingness was significantly increased in those who had been vaccinated against influenza in the last 3 years (p=0.01). Data from this study are crucial to understand the main expectations and concerns regarding SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in patients with AIIRDs and healthcare workers and allow the identification of valuable strategies to increase vaccine coverage in those populations.