Researchers in Ireland reported patients’ attitudes with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) towards COVID-19 vaccinations and their motivations for accepting vaccination, as published in the Journal of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Foundation.

“These data may inform policymakers attempting to promote vaccine uptake among patients with AATD,” the authors said.

The researchers led by Noel G. McElvaney, MD, assessed the attitudes of patients with AATD and nonhereditary chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) towards COVID-19 vaccination and their motivations for getting vaccinated. They then compared this to healthy individuals who are known not to carry the faulty allele causing AATD.


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A total of 170 patients with AATD, 150 patients with nonhereditary COPD, and 140 healthy individuals receiving their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca) were included in the study.

The most common primary motivation of patients with AATD, aged 50 years and over for accepting vaccination was “a fear of illness or death from COVID-19.” This was similar in nonhereditary patients with COPD. The primary motivation of patients below age 50 years, on the other hand, was “a desire to socialize,” which was similar to the motivation of people without AATD.

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The researchers also assessed the attitude of patients with AATD towards the booster vaccine following the completion of the first 2 doses. They found that patients were highly motivated “by a desire to reacquire social freedoms.”

The main reason patients were hesitant to receive the booster dose was “a lack of incentive” since the booster did not provide any additional social freedoms. None of the participants cited “a desire to reduce the risk of transmission” as a primary reason to get vaccinated, the authors said.

Patients with AATD are at a high risk of developing COPD especially if they are smokers. They are also at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 making them priority candidates for vaccination.

Reference

McElvaney OJ, Cleary B, Fraughen DD, et al. Attitudes towards vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 in patients with severe alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Chronic Obstr Pulm Dis. Published online April 9, 2022. doi:10.15326/jcopdf.2022.0288