A vaccination campaign against COVID-19 infection has been scheduled at the European level to be run simultaneously in all European countries.
There is no evidence to support that people with rare diseases should avoid vaccination against SARS-CoV-2. Vaccination is essential to protect the whole population, including patients with rare skin diseases. Ultimately, however, this vaccination is a matter of personal choice.
We encourage vaccination, especially for patients with disorders that likely affect the immune system and can be associated with COVID-19 complications. As the currently available messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines are not live vaccines, they should pose no risk to patients with immunodeficiency conditions, nor those undergoing immunosuppressive treatment. These vaccines cannot infect you with COVID19 disease. It is not anticipated that they pose a risk to patients with immunodeficiency conditions, or to those undergoing immunosuppressive therapy. Schematically, the core principle behind these mRNA vaccines is that they target only the spike protein of SARS-COV-2, which is located on the virus surface (spicule). This spike protein enables the virus to get into the cells and infect them.
The vaccines do not alter the patients’ genetic information, given that the genetic information of the virus is not integrated into the genome of the infected cells.
However, unless new data on these safety issues are made available, the current vaccines should be discussed with caution for patients with a history of serious anaphylactic reaction, it means severe urticaria with angioedema associated with general signs, or even shock, in addition to the need to carry an adrenaline pen.
Here, it must be noted that hereditary angioedema is caused by bradykinin accumulation in tissues, which is not an allergic mechanism. Therefore, there is no contraindication to vaccination for patients suffering from this condition.
Depending on the future availability of other vaccine types, new recommendations will be issued, as necessary.
It must be kept in mind that vaccinated persons must continue to follow the recommended preventive measures against COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, washing regularly hands with soap, practicing social distancing, and others. So far, more information is required to determine whether vaccinated persons can still infect other people that are not immunized against the SARS-CoV2 virus disease.
The experts from the different ERN-Skin disease groups have summarized in the following their recommendations, taking account of specific cases and treatments for patients with rare skin diseases.
For further information, please have a look at the different disease groups, as detailed here below.
If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact the Health Care Provider (HCP) of your country.