Volume 35, Issue 1, March 2024

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Mediterr J Rheumatol 2024;35(1):123-33
Safety of COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases
Authors Information

1Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul, Iraq

2Rheumatology Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Medical City, Iraq

3Al-Nahrain University, College of Medicine, Baghdad, Iraq

4Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Baghdad, Iraq

5School of Medicine, University of Kurdistan-Hawler, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

6Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Babylon, Iraq

7Sulaymaniyah Internal Medicine Teaching Hospital, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq

8College of Medicine, University of Basrah, Basrah, Iraq

9Al-Imamain Al-Kadhimin Medical City, Baghdad, Iraq

10Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Baghdad, Iraq


AA Younis, AA Ridha, YA Humadi, NA Jassim, NI Awadh, A Maroof, AMH Alqazzaz, FI Gorial, TA Qaradaghi, ZS Abdulzahra, ZA Mahmood, NT Yaseen, DN AlIdrecy, IT Hakman, SJ Tarfah, AS Khudhair


Objectives: The main purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of COVID-19 vaccine side effects in patients with rheumatic diseases and to examine any potential associations with medications, disease type, or comorbidities.  Methods: A multicentre cross-sectional study from rheumatology units in different hospitals in Iraq was carried out between 8th of August 2021 and 4th of August 2022. Patients were eligible for inclusion if they have a rheumatic disease and have taken one or more doses of any COVID-19 vaccine. Results: A total of 661 (57.8% female, mean age 46.51± 12.97 years) patients with rheumatic illnesses who received the “COVID-19” vaccination were included in this study. Rheumatoid arthritis was the most frequent diagnostic group. The Pfizer vaccine was given to the majority of patients (74.6%), followed by Sinopharm (16.2%), and AstraZeneca (9.2%). Side effects were detected in 661(100%) and 528 (100%) patients following the first and second vaccination doses, respectively; among which the most frequent were injection site pain in 57.8% following the first dose and 47.6% after the second dose, followed by fatigue and fever. According to multivariate logistic regression models, age (B=-0.204, p = 0.000), had a significantly inverse correlation coefficient with the experience of greater side effects. Rheumatic disease flares reported in 9.9%, 10.3%, and 8.2% of patients who received the Pfizer, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca vaccines, respectively. Conclusion: The “COVID-19” vaccination has a reassuring safety profile with no greater risk of adverse events in any specific illness or pharmacological therapy.

Cite this article as: Younis AA, Ridha AA, Humadi YA, Jassim NA, Awadh NI, Maroof A, Alqazzaz AMH, Gorial FI, Qaradaghi TA, Abdulzahra ZS, Mahmood ZA, Yaseen NT, AlIdrecy DN, Hakman IT, Tarfah SJ, Khudhair AS. Safety of COVID-19 Vaccine in Patients with Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases. Mediterr J Rheumatol 2024;35(1):123-33.

 Article Submitted: 14 Feb 2023; Revised Form: 11 Aug 2023; Article Accepted: 16 Oct 2023; Available Online: 08 Feb 2024

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

©2024 The Author(s).