Study explores factors associated with COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in people with psoriasis
According to a new study published on the medRxiv* server. People who were younger and from a minority ethnic group were more likely to be affected by these disruptions in care.
Study: Vaccine hesitancy and access to psoriasis care in the COVID-19 pandemic: results from a patient-reported global cross-sectional survey. Image Credit: Fuss Sergey/Shutterstock.com
Interestingly, being younger and belonging to a minority ethnic group was associated with greater COVID-19 hesitancy in people with psoriasis and matches the demographics of vaccine hesitant people in the population. general. People who were hesitant to get vaccinated have raised concerns that the vaccine is being developed so quickly and side effects from the vaccine could make their psoriasis worse.
People with psoriasis are at high risk of developing severe symptoms of COVID-19 due to their frequent use of immunosuppressive drugs. Understanding the disruption of psoriasis care caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on vaccine hesitancy can help physicians in their conversations with vaccine-hesitant patients.
“Identifying disenfranchised people and addressing their concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine will help mitigate the risks of the ongoing pandemic,” the research team concluded.
Study design and data collection
Starting May 4, 2020, the research team distributed an online survey called PsoProtectMe for people with psoriasis via social media, psoriasis patient organizations and clinical networks.
The team modified the questionnaire in May 2021 to ask about their perspective on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on psoriasis care and their perspective on the risks associated with taking immunosuppressants. one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The questions were designed for people to self-report their level of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and factors contributing to this decision, ranging from concerns about vaccine materials to feeling protected after recovering from a COVID-19 infection.
70 years: n=59. (C) by type of treatment; no systemic treatment: n=419; standard systemic therapy: n=113; targeted therapy: n=212. (D) by ethnicity; white: n=579; non-white: n=76.” class=”rounded-img” src=”https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220130/https://www.news-medical.net/images/news /ImageForNews_703009_1643602113562503.jpg” style=”width: 1280px; height: 820px;” title=””>
Extent participants feel their psoriasis care has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (A) total number. (B) by age group; 70 years: n=59. (C) by type of treatment; no systemic treatment: n=419; standard systemic therapy: n=113; targeted therapy: n=212. (D) by ethnicity; white: n=579; non-blank: n=76.
Young people have encountered more barriers to care during the COVID-19 pandemic
A total of 802 people with psoriasis responded to the survey. The research team collected responses from 89 countries – 69% of which came from the UK – and 81.7% of people included demographic information.
About 40 percent of people reported disruptions in their psoriasis care. Younger people, at a median age of 44, were more likely to experience treatment delays than older people (the average age being 54). Being of a non-white ethnicity was also associated with limited access to psoriasis care.
70 years: n=58. (C) by treatment; no systemic treatment: n=406; standard systemic therapy: n=110; targeted therapy: n=207. (D) by ethnicity; white: n=559; non-blank: n=70. (E) reasons for vaccine hesitancy.” class=”rounded-img” src=”https://www.news-medical.net/news/20220130/https://www.news-medical.net /images/news /ImageForNews_703009_16436021624525770.jpg” style=”width: 1047px; height: 1280px;” title=””>
COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. (A) total number. (B) by age group; 70 years: n=58. (C) by treatment; no systemic treatment: n=406; standard systemic therapy: n=110; targeted therapy: n=207. (D) by ethnicity; white: n=559; non-blank: n=70. (E) Reasons for vaccine hesitancy.
People who had problems accessing psoriasis care had shorter duration of psoriasis — likely due to their age — and more severe psoriasis symptoms.
While a majority of respondents were taking similar amounts of systemic medication, those who had targeted immunosuppressive therapies experienced more medical disruption.
Increased perception of risk of severe COVID-19 infection
A section of the survey asked people how worried they were about getting sick with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and what they thought of their medications affecting recovery from COVID-19 .
About 325 people said they were taking immunosuppressive drugs, and more than half of them (55.1%) said they felt their drugs – the majority being targeted therapy – made them more likely to get sick. Additionally, 56.3% said their medications would make it difficult to recover from a COVID-19 infection.
During COVID-19 infection, 35% were prescribed systemic therapy and 65% were prescribed targeted therapy alone or in combination with other treatments. About 17% stopped their treatment during the pandemic.
Concerns about COVID-19 vaccine side effects
Of the 755 people who answered questions about COVID-19 vaccines, 80.9% said they had received at least one dose of vaccine. Among vaccinated people with psoriasis, 16.2% said their psoriasis got worse after vaccination, and more than half said changes occurred within two weeks.
8.3% of people with psoriasis either refused to take the COVID-19 vaccine or were not planning to. Vaccination hesitant people were more likely to be younger, have a lower BMI or have a shorter duration of illness. They were also less likely to take systemic immunosuppressive drugs.
The three most common reasons for vaccine hesitancy were concerns about vaccine side effects, the vaccine being too ‘new’, and fear that their psoriasis would get worse after vaccination.
medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer-reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behaviors, or treated as established information.