Correlates of breakthrough COVID-19 in vaccinated patients with systemic sclerosis: survival analysis from a multicentre international patient-reported survey

COVAD Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the incidence, predictors, and outcomes of breakthrough infection (BI) following coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), a risk group associated with an immune-suppressed state and high cardiopulmonary disease burden. Cross-sectional data from fully vaccinated respondents with SSc, non-SSc autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRDs), and healthy controls (HCs) were extracted from the COVAD database, an international self-reported online survey. BI was defined according to the Centre for Disease Control definition. Infection-free survival was compared between the groups using Kaplan–Meier curves with log-rank tests. Cox proportional regression was used to assess the association between BI and age, sex, ethnicity, and immunosuppressive drugs at the time of vaccination. The severity of BI in terms of hospitalization and requirement for oxygen supplementation was compared between groups. Of 10,900 respondents, 6836 fulfilled the following inclusion criteria: 427 SSc, 2934 other AIRDs, and 3475 HCs. BI were reported in 6.3% of SSc, 6.9% of non-SSc AIRD, and 16.1% of HCs during a median follow-up of 100 (IQR: 60–137) days. SSc had a lower risk for BI than HC [hazard ratio (HR): 0.56 (95% CI 0.46–0.74)]. BIs were associated with age [HR: 0.98 (0.97–0.98)] but not ethnicity or immunosuppressive drugs at the time of vaccination. Patients with SSc were more likely to have asymptomatic COVID-19, but symptomatic patients reported more breathlessness. Hospitalization [SSc: 4 (14.8%), HCs: 37 (6.6%), non-SSc AIRDs: 32(15.8%)] and the need for oxygenation [SSc: 1 (25%); HC: 17 (45.9%); non-SSc AIRD: 13 (40.6%)] were similar between the groups. The incidence of BI in SSc was lower than that in HCs but comparable to that in non-SSc AIRDs. The severity of BI did not differ between the groups. Advancing age, but not ethnicity or immunosuppressive medication use, was associated with BIs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalRheumatology International
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Breakthrough infections
  • COVAD
  • COVID-19
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Systemic sclerosis

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