HealthDay News — Among patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis, a considerable number are hesitant about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and the effect they may have on their underlying conditions, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, held virtually from September 29 to Oct 2.

Álvaro González-Cantero, Ph.D., from the Hospital Universitario Ramon Y Cajal in Madrid, Spain, and colleagues assessed social media postings to collect patient perspectives on COVID-19 vaccination in biologic-treated patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. The analysis included 10,922 outputs extracted using predefined keywords, which were narrowed to 624 filtered posts that were manually analyzed to derive insights.

The researchers found that 55.1%  of posts contained patient perceptions of COVID-19 vaccination. Just over half of these posts (52%) identified that patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) were skeptical or expressed negative perceptions about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Potential side effects of the vaccination, effect on their autoimmune conditions, and lack of trial data were the main factors driving skepticism. Patients reported that the most frequent health care professional advice was to delay treatment administration through the 2 vaccine doses and begin again a week after the second vaccine dose. Of patients reporting having taken a vaccine, 60% of psoriasis patients reported no impact on their condition postvaccination as well as manageable side effects. Psoriatic arthritis patients reported more severe side effects from vaccination, citing high levels of pain, weakness, and fatigue afterward.

“Looking forward, we know that we have to take these findings on board and educate patients on the importance, safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine,” González-Cantero said in a statement.

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