Safety of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in patients with familial Mediterranean fever

Liran Shechtman, Karney Lahad, Avi Livneh, Chagai Grossman, Amit Druyan, Eitan Giat, Merav Lidar, Sarit Freund, Uri Manor, Alon Pomerantz, Daniel Veroslavski, Ilan Ben-Zvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Evidence suggests a possible association between the COVID-19 vaccine and autoimmune disease flares or new onset of various autoinflammatory manifestations, such as pericarditis and myocarditis. The objective of this study was to assess the safety of an mRNA-based BNT162b2 anti-COVID-19 vaccine in individuals with FMF, a prototypic autoinflammatory disease. METHODS: Patients participating in this study fulfilled the criteria for diagnosis of FMF, were older than 18 years and received at least one dose of the vaccine. Data on baseline characteristics, features of FMF, post-vaccination side effects, and disease flares were acquired using electronic medical files and telephone interviews. RESULTS: A total of 273 FMF patients were recruited for the study. >95% were vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. The rates of local reactions following the first and second vaccine doses were 65.5% and 60%, respectively, and 26% and 50.4%, respectively, for systemic adverse events. These rates are lower than those reported for the general population from real-world and clinical trial settings. Postvaccination FMF activity remained stable in most patients. None of the patients reported an attack of pericarditis or myocarditis, considered the most serious vaccine-associated adverse events. Patients with a more active FMF disease and patients harboring the M694V mutation had a significantly higher rate of post-vaccination systemic side effects and attacks. CONCLUSION: The BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is safe in patients with FMF. Our results support the administration of this vaccine to FMF patients according to guidelines applicable to the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)SI129-SI135
JournalRheumatology
Volume61
Issue numberSI2
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • FMF
  • mRNA
  • vaccine

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