IBD patients show effective COVID-19 vaccine response, despite fears

April 12, 2022
IBD patients show effective COVID-19 vaccine response, despite fears

Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are more susceptible to infection than the general population because of their treatment with immunosuppressive drugs. Nevertheless, these patients have been encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine, which has proven safe and effective according to recent research by Rutgers University in New Jersey.

IBD is fairly common: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated at least 3.1 million Americans have some form of IBD, including includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These numbers are growing, said Abhishek Bhurwal, an Advanced IBD Fellow in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University.

Systematic review and analysis by Bhurwal and colleagues, focusing on four key aspects of COVID-19 vaccination of IBD patients: the strength of their immune response to the vaccine; the occurrence of breakthrough infections after taking the vaccine; the occurrence of adverse events to the vaccine; and whether differing IBD treatments affected vaccine effectiveness, confirm a strong antibody response to COVID-19 vaccination.

From the study, vaccinated IBD patients were also shown to have experienced a low rate of adverse events, besides common reactions such as soreness at the injection site, headaches, backache, and joint pain.

“With this analysis, we can say that two doses of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are safe and effective in the [immunocompromised] IBD population,” Bhurwal said. “But we need further studies regarding booster doses and COVID variants.”

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Category: Education, Features

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