Researchers revealed high COVID-19 vaccination rates among individuals with hemophilia, but hesitancy persists in some patients, as published in Haemophilia. They noted that fear of side effects and interactions with factor replacement were the most common reasons for patients not to be vaccinated.

A few patients also cited bleeding concerns with vaccination, despite the fact that current research shows that the risk of bleeding is low in this patient group and current guidelines recommend standard COVID-19 vaccination procedures among individuals with hemophilia.

The authors found a 75% full (2 doses) vaccination rate in a cohort of patients with hemophilia in Austria, which was higher than the 63% full vaccination rate noted in the general Austrian population.


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“We speculate that those patients are more approachable towards scientific advances compared to the general population,” the researchers explained. “Moreover, some patients with hemophilia could also perceive themselves as frail persons needing more coverage against possible side effects associated with COVID-19.”

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Furthermore, it is possible that because patients with hemophilia require regular physician visits, it has been easier for them to get vaccinated than it has been for the general population. The study found no differences in booster rates between patients with hemophilia and those without, nor did they find differences in the severity or type of hemophilia among vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

There was still concern about side effects and bleeding among some patients in the study, and the researchers recommend that physicians share the current evidence of low bleeding risk and the lack of factor replacement interaction with their patients to help encourage even higher vaccination rates.

Reference

Kocher F, Seeber A, Fauser J, Petzer V, Wolf D, Feistritzer C. High SARS-CoV-2 vaccination coverage but still room for improvement in patients with haemophila: a single-centre analysis. Haemophilia. Published online February 1, 2022. doi:10.1111/hae.14500