The rapid transmission of the highly infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), led to widespread infection throughout the world. Concerns and challenges regarding COVID-19 illness have emerged for patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as spondyloarthritis (SpA), who receive treatment with biologic or targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), because this population is vulnerable to infections and has a high prevalence of risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 illness. Available data on COVID-19 indicate that patients with SpA who are treated with DMARDs have SARS-CoV-2 infection rates comparable with those in the general population, with similar increased risk associated with older age and comorbidities. Novel vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are approved or authorized for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration, and others are in development to prevent infection and serious illness. This review provides an overview of SpA, the mechanism of action for the SARS-CoV-2 infection, the clinical course of COVID-19, and the vaccines approved for, or in development against, SARS-CoV-2. Detailed information on the use of established vaccines in patients with SpA receiving DMARDs is provided, along with recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination. Available evidence has shown COVID-19 vaccination in patients with SpA, among other rheumatic diseases, to be safe and effective with most DMARD use; however, there is evidence of potential interference with some therapies used in SpA. Healthcare providers should educate patients to provide the knowledge and confidence to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, since the potential benefit outweighs the low risk of vaccine-related adverse events.
- COVID-19 vaccine
- Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy