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COVID-19 vaccination uptake among individuals with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases in Ontario, Canada between December 2020 and October 2021: a population-based analysis


Objective — We assessed COVID-19 vaccine uptake among individuals with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID) and the Ontario general population.

Methods — We studied all residents 16 years and older who were alive and enrolled in Ontario's universal health insurance plan as of December 14, 2020 when vaccination commenced (n=12,435,914). Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), psoriasis (PsO), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) were identified using established disease-specific case definitions applied to health administrative data. Vaccination status was extracted from the provincial COVaxON registry. Weekly cumulative proportions of first and second doses up until October 3, 2021 were expressed as the vaccinated percentage of each disease group, and compared to the general Ontario population, and stratified by age.

Results — By October 3, 2021, the cumulative percentage with at least one dose was 82.1% for the general population, 88.9% for RA, 87.4% for AS, 90.6% for PsA, 87.3% for PsO, and 87.0% for IBD. There was also a higher total cumulative percentage with two doses among IMIDs (83.8-88.2%) vs the general population (78.0%). The difference was also evident when stratifying by age. Individuals with IMIDs in the youngest age group initially had earlier uptake than the general population but remain the lowest age group with two doses (70.6% in the general population vs. 73.7-79.2% across IMID groups).

Conclusion — While implementation of COVID-19 vaccination programs has differed globally, these Canadian estimates are the first to reassuringly show higher COVID-19 vaccine uptake among individuals with IMIDs.



Widdifield J, Eder L, Chen S, Kwong JC, Hitchon C, Lacaille D, Aviña-Zubieta JA, Svenson LW, Bernatsky S. J Rheumatol. 2022; 49(5):531-6. Epub 2022 Jan 15.

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