AIMS: COVID-19 infection is associated with significant morbidity in systemic lupus erythematosus but is potentially preventable by vaccination, although the impact of the myriad vaccines among SLE patients is not established. We aimed to assess the effectiveness, efficacy, acceptance and safety of COVID-19 vaccination in SLE. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of PubMed, Embase, CENTRAL, WHO Clinical Trials and ClinicalTrials.gov publications until 8th June 2022 without language, publication year or publication status restrictions. Reports with fewer than 5 patients or incomplete information on study outcomes were excluded. Risk of bias was assessed, and results reported according to PRISMA 2020 guidelines. RESULTS: We identified 32 studies (34 reports) comprising 8269 individuals with SLE. Post-vaccine COVID-19 infections ranged 0-17% in 6 studies (5065 patients), while humoral and cellular immunogenicity, was evaluated in 17 studies (976 patients) and 5 studies (112 patients), respectively. Pooled seropositivity rate was 81.1% (95% CI: 72.6-88.5%, I2=85%, p< 0.01) with significant heterogeneity and higher rates in mRNA vaccines compared with non-mRNA vaccines. Adverse events and specifically lupus flares were examined in 20 studies (3853 patients) and 13 studies (2989 patients), respectively. Severe adverse events and moderate to severe lupus flares were infrequent. The pooled vaccine acceptance rate was 67.0% (95%CI: 45.2-85.6%, I2=98%, p< 0.01) from 8 studies (1348 patients), with greater acceptance in older patients. CONCLUSION: Post-vaccine COVID-19 infection, severe flares and adverse events were infrequent and pooled seropositivity and acceptance were high with significant heterogeneity. These results may inform shared-decision making on vaccination during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO; https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/; CRD42021233366.

  • All age groups
  • Vaccine/vaccination
  • COVID-19
  • Efficacy/effectiveness
  • Acceptance
  • Safety