COVID-19 Vaccine is Largely Well Tolerated in People with Lupus
The first ever large-scale study on the tolerance of the COVID-19 vaccine in people with lupus found that the vaccine is largely well tolerated. Researchers assessed side effects, including flares, after receiving at least one shot among 696 people with lupus across 30 different countries. While about half the people (45% after the first dose and 53% after the second dose) reported some side effects, the majority (83%) reported minor or moderate symptoms that did not interfere with daily tasks.
There were no differences in side effects observed related to gender, age, or vaccine type. Additionally, neither lupus medications nor previous lupus disease characteristics were associated with side effects of risk of flare following vaccination. People who reported side effects after the first vaccine, however, were more likely to experience side effects after the second shot.
Just 3% of participants (21 people out of 693) reported a medically confirmed lupus flare roughly 3 days after vaccination. In most cases (71%), this resulted in a change in lupus treatment, and four of the 21 people were hospitalized due to the flare up.
The American College of Rheumatology recommends COVID-19 vaccination for people with lupus and other rheumatic diseases, except for patients with a known allergy to a vaccine component or life-threatening illness (currently resulting in intensive care). Consult with your doctor if you have questions or concerns about the vaccine and learn more about COVID-19 and lupus.