Rheum Round-up: 1 in 3 Autoimmune Pts Uncertain About Vaccine, Anakinra to Treat COVID?, and more

By Kaitlyn D’Onofrio - February 26, 2021

1 in 3 Patients With Autoimmune Diseases Uncertain About COVID-19 Vaccine

Although about half of patients with autoimmune diseases are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, about a third remain uncertain about it, according to a study, suggesting there is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to provide education to their patients.

The international VAXICOV (VAccinations against COVid-19) study surveyed 1,266 patients with systemic autoimmune or inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Just over half of patients said they were willing to get vaccinated, but notably, about a third reported uncertainty. Vaccine willingness increased with age and was also largely associated with the fear of being infected with and getting severe COVID-19.

Patients said they most trusted their specialist—such as their rheumatologist or internist—in terms of recommending to get the COVID-19 vaccine, followed by their general practitioner. When recommended by a physician, the willingness to get vaccinated increased to 62.8%, and uncertainty and unwillingness to 28.4% and 8.8%, respectively.


Could Anakinra Be Used To Treat Severe COVID-19?

The results of a new study suggest that there may be a way to use anakinra in the treatment of severe COVID-19. The study, which is currently in preprint, assessed the use of personalized immunotherapy in patients critically ill with COVID-19 and concluded, “Biomarkers may guide favorable anakinra responses in critically ill patients with COVID-19.”


AI Decision Aid A Significant Benefit For Patients with OA Considering Knee Replacement

A randomized, clinical trial found that patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee who are thinking of undergoing total knee replacement (TKR) may benefit from an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled decision aid. “The findings of this study suggest that multifaceted decision aids integrating patient education, preference assessment, and AI-enabled analytics built with patient-reported outcome measure data can provide a personalized, data-driven approach to shared-decision making for patients with advanced knee OA considering TKR,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion.


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