A retrospective study undertaken by Maccabi KSM Research in Israel has revealed that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine offers the same level of protection against the virus for patients with Celiac Disease as it does for those without this chronic condition.
Throughout the pandemic, there were concerns surrounding whether individuals with Celiac Disease would generate an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccines. These concerns stemmed from earlier research, which indicated reduced vaccine responsiveness among children with Celiac Disease to the hepatitis B vaccine. Furthermore, the absence of data from COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials involving individuals with chronic conditions, including Celiac Disease, exacerbated these uncertainties.
Now, researchers in Israel and New York have concluded a real-world, population-based study to assess the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer vaccine) against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). This study was carried out in 2021 during the pandemic peak when COVID-19 tests were readily accessible and often mandated by government authorities. The study’s findings were recently published in the journal Viruses.
The retrospective study, pulled on anonymous data from Maccabi Healthcare Services, included 5,381 Maccabi members over the age of 12 with Celiac Disease and 14,939 controls. All Celiac Disease patients had received two COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The results showed no difference in the vaccine effectiveness between the groups. There was also no significant difference between patients with controlled and uncontrolled Celiac Disease and in patients recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
The study was led by Dr. Tal Patalon and Dr. Amir Ben Tov from KSM Research and Innovation Center, Israel, in cooperation with Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York.
Dr. Patalon, head of KSM Research and Innovation Center, said, “This research proves the importance of real-world evidence in healthcare, where big-data studies can retrospectively focus on small and particular groups of individuals, often missed in clinical trials.”