Impact of immunosuppressive therapy on SARS-CoV- 2 mRNA vaccine effectiveness in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases: a Danish nationwide cohort study

Rahma Elmahdi*, Daniel Ward, Martin T. Ernst, Gry Poulsen, Jesper Hallas, Anton Pottegård, Tine Jess

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective Patients receiving immunosuppressives have been excluded from trials for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy. Investigation of immunosuppressants' impact on effectiveness of vaccines, particularly in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID), is therefore required. Design We performed a nationwide cohort study to assess the risk of COVID-19 infection in vaccinated patients with IMID exposed to immunosuppressives compared with IMID unexposed to immunosuppressives. Exposure to immunosuppressives in the 120 days before receiving the second SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination was assessed. Patients were followed from date of second vaccination and weighted Cox models were used to estimate the risk of infection associated with immunosuppressives. Secondary outcomes included hospitalisation and death associated with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test. Risk of infection by immunosuppressant drug class was also analysed. Setting This study used population-representative data from Danish national health registries in the period from 1 January to 30 November 2021. Results Overall, 152 440 patients were followed over 19 341 person years. Immunosuppressants were associated with a significantly increased risk of infection across IMID (HR: 1.4, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.5), in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (HR: 1.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 1.9) and arthropathy (HR: 1.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.4) but not psoriasis (HR: 1.1, 95% CI 0.9 to 1.4). Immunosuppressants were also associated with an increased risk of hospitalisation across IMID (HR: 1.4, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.0), particularly in IBD (HR: 2.1, 95% CI 1.0 to 4.1). No significantly increased risk of death in immunosuppressant exposed patients was identified. Analyses by immunosuppressant drug class showed increased COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation with anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF), systemic corticosteroid, and rituximab and other immunosuppressants in vaccinated patients with IMID. Conclusion Immunosuppressive therapies reduced effectiveness of mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccination against infection and hospitalisation in patients with IMID. Anti-TNF, systemic corticosteroids, and rituximab and other immunosuppressants were particularly associated with these risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere077408
JournalBMJ Open
Volume14
Issue number2
ISSN2044-6055
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21. Feb 2024

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