Rheumatology university faculty opinion on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines: the vaXurvey study from Egypt.

Citation:
Hammam, N., S. Tharwat, R. E. R. Shereef, A. M. Elsaman, N. M. Khalil, H. M. Fathi, M. N. Salem, H. M. El-Saadany, N. Samy, A. S. El-Bahnasawy, et al., "Rheumatology university faculty opinion on coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccines: the vaXurvey study from Egypt.", Rheumatology international, vol. 41, issue 9, pp. 1607-1616, 2021.

Abstract:

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present work was to explore the perspectives of Egyptian Rheumatology staff members as regards the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) vaccine.

METHODS: The survey is composed of 25 questions. Some questions were adapted from the global rheumatology alliance COVID-19 survey for patients.

RESULTS: 187 rheumatology staff members across Egypt from 18 universities and authorizations actively participated with a valid response. The mean time needed to complete the survey was 17.7 ± 13 min. Participants were 159 (85%) females (F:M 5.7:1). One-third agreed that they will be vaccinated once available, 24.6% have already received at least one dose, 29.4% are unsure while 16% will not take it. Furthermore, 70.1% agreed that they will recommend it to the rheumatic diseases (RD) patients once available, 24.1% are not sure while 5.9% will not recommend it. RD priority to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in descending order include SLE (82.9%), RA (55.1%), vasculitis (51.3%), systemic sclerosis (39.6%), MCTD (31.6%), Behcet's disease (28.3%). The most common drugs to be avoided before vaccination included biologics (71.7%), DMARDs (44.4%), biosimilars (26.7%), IVIg (17.1%) and NSAIDs (9.1%).

CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study and specifically the low rate of acceptability are alarming to Egyptian health authorities and should stir further interventions to reduce the levels of vaccine hesitancy. As rheumatic disease patients in Egypt were not systematically provided with the vaccine till present, making the vaccine available could as well enhance vaccine acceptance. Further studies to investigate any possible side effects, on a large scale of RD patients are warranted.

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