COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Hesitancy in Patients with Autoimmune Bullous Diseases

The following was published as a Letter to the Editor in the British Journal of Dermatology in November, 2021. The letter outlines a cross-sectional study of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and hesitancy in patients with autoimmune bullous diseases. Out of the 707 total participants, 73.1% reported a willingness to accept the COVID-19 vaccination.

Patients with autoimmune bullous diseases (AIBDs) have faced considerable challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines became an important public health solution, but the pandemic raised awareness of vaccine hesitancy. We aimed to investigate the currently unknown general vaccination status among patients with AIBDs to better inform vaccine practices in this cohort of patients with potentially life-threatening inflammatory disorders.

In this cross-sectional study, English-speaking patients with AIBDs aged ≥ 18 years, who were recruited from the database of the International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation, were asked to complete a COVID-19 vaccination-related web-based survey between 2 August 2021 and 30 August 2021. The online poll was adapted with minor modifications from Wang et al. Electronic informed consent was obtained from all patients, and the questionnaire was completed anonymously. The study was granted an exemption by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Southern California. The primary outcome was the rate of patients reporting COVID-19 vaccination willingness or hesitancy. Secondary outcomes were vaccination coverage, safety, and factors associated with vaccination willingness and hesitancy. Covariates included sex, age, country, ethnicity, education, income, type of AIBD and comorbidities. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations, with adjustments for potential confounders.

Read the full letter here. The IPPF frequently updates COVID-19 information and resources for pemphigus and pemphigoid patients.