Good news! no link between COVID-19 vaccines and arthritis flare

The introduction of COVID-19 vaccines is a sign of relief amidst of coronavirus pandemic around the world. However, a hesitancy for vaccination has been developed among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients owing to the suspicion of arthritis flare after vaccination. Recent research shows that there is no link between COVID-19 vaccines full doses and arthritis flare and there is no evidence of arthritis flare among the fully vaccinated RA patients.

The 2021 study based in Hong Kong conducted a follow-up of 5493 RA patients. Among these subjects, 653 had received mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 with a median 21 days inter-dose interval, 671 had taken inactive virus vaccine CoronaVac with 28 days inter-dose interval, and 4169 patients were non-vaccinated.

There was no significant association with arthritis flare in patients who received two doses of BNT162b2 with an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 0.86 (95% confidence interval 0.73 to 1.01) and CoronaVac two doses with an adjusted incidence rate ratio of 0.87 (95% Confidence Interval 0.74 to 1.02), as per Li et al. and co-authors.

Among the BNT162b2, CoronaVac recipient patients and non-vaccinated subjects, post mass vaccination program launch, there was no significant difference with regard to weekly rheumatic drug prescriptions distributions, the authors reported in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD).

Li et al and co-authors have concluded that there is no elevated risk of any possible flare post-COVID-19 two doses vaccination. This should further encourage more individuals with RA to receive COVID-19 vaccines.