Background: The safety profile of COVID-19 vaccination is well documented, but hesitancy among people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, often immunocompromised, remains high, partially due to a scarcity of data on safety over a longer term. We herein aimed to assess delayed adverse events (DAEs) occurring >7 days after COVID-19 vaccination in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) versus other rheumatic autoimmune diseases (rAIDs), non-rheumatic AIDs (nrAIDs), and healthy controls (HCs). Methods: Self-reported data were captured within the COVID-19 Vaccination in Autoimmune Diseases (COVAD)-2 online survey, which comprised >150 centres and responses from 106 countries, between February and June 2022. Logistic regression analysis adjusting for important confounders (age, sex, ethnicity) was used to compare groups. Results: Of 7203 eligible individuals, 882 (12.2%) patients had SLE, 3161 (43.9%) patients had rAIDs, 426 (5.9%) patients had nrAIDs, and 2734 (38.0%) were HCs. SLE patients had a median age of 39 years (IQR: 31–50); 93.7% were women. SLE patients reported, more frequently, major DAEs (OR: 1.6; 95% CI: 1.2–2.0; p = 0.001) and hospitalisation (OR: 2.2; 95% CI: 1.4–3.4; p < 0.001) compared to HCs, severe rashes (OR: 2.4; 95% CI: 1.3–4.2; p = 0.004) compared to people with rAIDS, and hospitalisation (OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1–4.9; p = 0.029) as well as several minor DAEs compared to people with nrAIDs. Differences were observed between vaccines in terms of frequency of major DAEs and hospitalisations, with the latter seen more frequently in patients receiving the Moderna vaccine. People with SLE with no autoimmune multimorbidity less frequently reported overall minor DAEs compared to SLE patients with comorbid nrAIDs (OR: 0.5; 95% CI: 0.3–1.0; p = 0.036). Conclusion: Hospitalisations post-vaccination were more frequent in SLE patients than in HCs. Monitoring of SLE patients following COVID-19 vaccination can help in identifying DAEs early, informing patients about expected DAEs, and supporting patients, especially those with autoimmune multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7542
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2023


  • COVID-19
  • delayed adverse events
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • vaccines


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