This article was originally published here
Eur J Neurol. 2022 Apr 7. doi: 10.1111/ene.15348. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, Myasthenia gravis (MG) patients have been identified as subjects at high-risk of developing severe COVID-19, and thus were offered vaccination with priority. The lack of direct data on the safety and tolerability of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in MG have contributed to vaccine hesitancy. To address this issue, the safety and tolerability of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines was assessed in a large cohort of MG patients from two referral centers.
METHODS: Patients with confirmed MG diagnosis, consecutively seen between October and December 2021 in two MG centers were enrolled. Demographics, clinical characteristics, and information regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection/vaccination were extracted from medical reports and/or collected throughout telephonic or in person interviews.
RESULTS: Ninety-eight (94.2%) out of 104 patients included were administered at least 2 vaccine doses 4 weeks before the interview or earlier, and, among them, 63/98 (64.2%) have already received the “booster” dose. The most frequently used vaccines were BNT162b2-Pfizer-BioNTech and mRNA-1273-Moderna. Overall, only minor side effects were reported, most commonly local pain and fever. MG worsening after vaccination was observed in 8/104 (7.7%) cases. The frequency of worsening among MuSK-MG cases (3/9 [33.3%]) was significantly higher compared to other serological subgroups. Spontaneous symptoms regression was observed in 6/8 cases. Twelve/104 (11.5%) patients had SARS-CoV-2 infection and none of the SARS-CoV-2 infected MG patients worsened after vaccination.
CONCLUSION: Our data support the safety and tolerability of mRNA-COVID-19 vaccines, which should be strongly recommended in MG patients who could be at higher risk of complications if exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infection.