NPF COVID-19 Task Force Updates Guidance Statements Regarding COVID-19 Vaccines

The NPF recognizes the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine as a major advance in protecting individuals from COVID-19 and recommends individuals receive the first available vaccine.

Portland, Oregon – March 5, 2021

With the recent emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) COVID-19 Task Force has updated the guidance statements to inform patients and health care providers.

Ad26.COV2.S is a single-dose vaccine developed to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older. The NPF Task Force views the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine as a major advance in protecting individuals and as an important tool for ending the pandemic. In just one dose, the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine is highly effective in preventing the most serious cases of COVID-19.

The NPF Task Force recommends that individuals with psoriatic disease receive the first COVID-19 vaccine offered to them, as all three of the currently available vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious COVID-19 outcomes like hospitalization and/or death. “Delaying vaccination to receive a particular vaccine puts individuals at unnecessary risk of death from COVID-19," said Joel M. Gelfand, M.D., MSCE, Professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and Co-Chair of the NPF COVID-19 Task Force.

The Task Force notes that patients age 60 or older who have at least one comorbidity associated with an increased risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes and are also taking methotrexate with well-controlled psoriatic disease may, in consultation with their prescriber, consider holding methotrexate for two weeks after receiving Ad26.COV2.S to potentially improve vaccine response. This recommendation is influenced by data suggesting that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who hold methotrexate for 2 weeks after receiving an influenza vaccine achieved a marginally better antibody response of unknown clinical significance. It is not known if holding methotrexate for two weeks following the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine will result in clinically meaningful benefit for vaccine efficacy. Said Gelfand, “It is also perfectly reasonable for patients and their providers to continue methotrexate when receiving the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine based on current data.” The Task Force recommends that patients continue other oral or biologic medications for psoriatic disease when receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are very fortunate to now have a third very effective vaccine as an option to protect our community from COVID-19.  I would encourage everyone that is able to receive a vaccine do so as soon as one is available to them to protect themselves and those around them, as well as contribute to ending the pandemic,” said Stacie Bell, Ph.D., Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the National Psoriasis Foundation.

The National Psoriasis Foundation established its COVID-19 Task Force in May 2020, charged to identify critical needs for the psoriatic disease community and to serve as an expert resource to the organization in an advisory capacity. The Task Force is comprised of physicians with expertise in dermatology, rheumatology, infectious disease, and critical care, in addition to fellows and NPF team members.

In August 2020, the Task Force issued initial guidance statements as result of a Delphi process, which asked members to provide consensus on important questions posed by patients and health care providers. Methodology, full results, and discussion of these initial guidance statements were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in September 2020. Updated guidance statements addressing COVID-19 vaccination and treatment advances for individuals living with psoriatic disease were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in January 2021.

The Foundation continues to closely monitor the evolving situation. The Task Force encourages the psoriatic disease community to receive the first vaccine offered to them, adhere to public health guidelines, and consult with a health care provider if infected with SARS-CoV-2. For more information, visit the NPF COVID-19 Resource Center .

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research, education and funding, the National Psoriasis Foundation, NPF, is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $24 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at psoriasis.org

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