As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the AANEM strives to provide you with the most up-to-date and useful information. At the end of 2020, with announcement of the impending approval of not one but two vaccines against COVID-19, AANEM staff faced a sudden influx of phone calls and emails from members, nonmember physicians, and even some NM patients inquiring about the safety of such vaccines for NM patients. The AANEM Quality & Patient Safety Committee quickly took up the task of researching the data available on the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as looking at the safety and efficacy of vaccines in general in this patient population. “Doctor – Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine? Infection and Immunization in Individuals with Neuromuscular Disorders” was accepted for publication by Muscle & Nerve
and posted on the AANEM website in mid-January. It can be found on the AANEM COVID-19 Resources webpage: https://www.aanem.org/Practice/COVID-19-Guidance
. Below is a copy of the abstract for reference:
The clinical course of neuromuscular disorders (NMDs) can be affected by infections, both in immunocompetent individuals, and in those with reduced immunocompetence due to immunosuppressive/immunomodulating therapies. Infections and immunizations may also trigger NMDs. There is a potential for reduced efficacy of immunizations in patients with reduced immunocompetence. The recent vaccination program for Coronavirus Disease- 2019 (COVID-19) raises several questions regarding the safety and efficacy of this vaccine in individuals with NMDs. In this Practice Statement, we address the role of vaccine-preventable infections in NMDs and the safety and efficacy of immunization in individuals with NMDs, with emphases on vaccination against COVID-19.