Sen P, Gupta L, Lilleker JB, Aggarwal V, Kardes S, Milchert M, Gheita T, Salim B, Velikova T, Gracia-Ramos AE, Parodis I, O'Callaghan AS, Nikiphorou E, Tan AL, Cavagna L, Saavedra MA, Shinjo SK, Ziade N, Knitza J, Kuwana M, Cagnotto G, Nune A, Distler O, Chinoy H, Aggarwal V, Aggarwal R, COVAD Study Group
Rheumatol Int - (-) - [2021-11-15; online 2021-11-15]
The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a cause of unprecedented global morbidity and mortality. Whilst COVID-19 vaccination has emerged as the only tangible solution to reducing poor clinical outcomes, vaccine hesitancy continues to be an obstacle to achieving high levels of vaccine uptake. This represents particular risk to patients with autoimmune diseases, a group already at increased risk of hospitalization and poor clinical outcomes related to COVID-19 infection. Whilst there is a paucity of long-term safety and efficacy data of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with autoimmune diseases, the current evidence strongly suggests that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks of adverse effects and disease flares. Herein, we report the protocol of the COVID-19 Vaccination in Autoimmune Diseases (COVAD) study, an ongoing international collaborative study involving 29 countries and over 110 investigators.