Objective: To provide guidance to rheumatology providers on the use of COVID-19 vaccines for patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). Methods: A task force was assembled that included 9 rheumatologists/immunologists, 2 infectious disease specialists, and 2 public health physicians. After agreeing on scoping questions, an evidence report was created that summarized the published literature and publicly available data regarding COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and safety, as well as literature for other vaccines in RMD patients. Task force members rated their agreement with draft consensus statements on a 9-point numerical scoring system, using a modified Delphi process and the RAND/University of California Los Angeles Appropriateness Method, with refinement and iteration over 2 sessions. Consensus was determined based on the distribution of ratings. Results: Despite a paucity of direct evidence, statements were developed by the task force and agreed upon with consensus to provide guidance for use of the COVID-19 vaccines, including supplemental/booster dosing, in RMD patients and to offer recommendations regarding the use and timing of immunomodulatory therapies around the time of vaccination. Conclusion: These guidance statements are intended to provide direction to rheumatology health care providers on how to best use COVID-19 vaccines and to facilitate implementation of vaccination strategies for RMD patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy