News Release

Safety analysis of biologics and highlighting vaccine hesitancy: real-world data shines a light on the impact of COVID-19 on psoriasis patients

Reports and Proceedings

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LUGANO, 30 September, 2021 – Real-world data looking at biologic treatment and vaccine hesitancy in psoriasis patients is being presented today at EADV’s 30th Congress. The findings of two studies are helping to advance understanding of the safety of biological therapies for psoriasis and reasons for COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in psoriasis patients.

Researchers in Spain have studied sentiment towards COVID-19 vaccination in biologic-treated patients with psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis.1 The real-world data was collected via social media to minimise the limitations of traditional hospital surveys, which only capture data from motivated patients that could be impacted by the presence of a doctor.

10,922 social media posts were identified between January and March 2021 from patients in the USA, UK, France, Germany and Spain using pre-defined keywords, which were then filtered down to 624 posts to be manually analysed to derive insights.

Important findings suggest that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in patients was driven by safety concerns and concerns about aggravation of their underlying condition (n=344). Main factors driving this perception were potential side effects post-vaccination, effect on their autoimmune conditions and lack of trial data. Moreover, patients had no information on the interaction of the COVID-19 vaccine with biologic therapy and did not know what effect it had in immuno-compromised patients.

Álvaro González-Cantero of the Department of Dermatology Hospital Universitario Ramon Y Cajal, Madrid, Spain said: “Looking forward, we know that we have to take these findings on board and educate patients on the importance, safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re hoping to be able to collaborate with an Academy like the EADV to help us tackle vaccine hesitancy through education.”

Biologic treatments for psoriasis - a chronic inflammatory skin disease - are often associated with increased risk of infection. In a second real-word study, researchers in The Netherlands examined the differential effect of biological therapies on risk of respiratory tract infections (RTI) and serious infections (SI), including COVID-19, to help determine if any associations exist.2 A daily practice cohort of 714 psoriasis patients with 1325 treatment episodes from the BioCAPTURE registry was analysed, with 2224 RTI and 63 SI reported but only 1.3% of RTI reported as serious.

Analysis found no differential risk of RTI between included biologics adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, ustekinumab, secukinumab, ixekizumab, and guselkumab, and no association was revealed for serious infections. Regarding SARS-CoV-2 infections, the crude incidence rate was 3.8 (95% CI: 2.2-6.1) per 100 PY during 2020, in a single BioCAPTURE centre.

“Our analysis reveals no differences in risk of respiratory tract infections between biologics, including the newer IL-17 and IL-23 inhibitors, in a prospective psoriasis patients’ cohort. In addition, our preliminary results suggest that biological treatments do not impact psoriasis patients’ susceptibility to COVID-19 infections, although this needs to be further investigated,” says Lara van der Schoot of the Department of Dermatology at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Lead Author of the study. “These findings provide key clinical value and will help to guide patient decisions with regard to psoriasis treatment options and choice.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed an unprecedented challenge to patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases like psoriasis,” shares Dee-Dee Murrell, EADV Board Member and Professor of Dermatology at the University of NSW, in Australia, “However, the research presented here provides actionable insights that can help to educate and support psoriasis patients with regards to the impact of biological treatments on infection, and on the need for COVID-19 vaccinations.”



Notes to Editors

A reference to the EADV 30th Congress or EADV Congress 2021 must be included when communicating any information within this press release.


For further information or to arrange an expert interview, please contact:

Boryana Kermenova – EADV Press Officer

+44 (0) 20 8971 6429


Catriona Martin – EADV Press Officer

+44 (0) 20 8971 6412


About Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis


Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic immune-mediated inflammatory disease that causes raised plaques and scales on the skin’s surface.3 It can range in severity from a few scattered red, scaly plaques, to the involvement of almost the entire body surface – it may also wax and wane in its severity over time.4 There are many different kinds of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis which is found in 80% of people with the condition.5  Psoriasis affects between 2-3% of the worlds’ adult population, and <1% of children.6,7,8

Psoriatic arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. It typically causes affected joints to become swollen, stiff and painful.9 Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation in a joint.10 Like psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis is a long-term condition that can get progressively worse. The severity can vary considerably however, if severe, there is a risk of the joints becoming permanently damaged or deformed.9 It usually develops between the ages of 30 and 50 and affects approximately 24 in 10,000 people. Between 5-10% of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis.11 

About EADV

Founded in 1987, EADV is a leading European Dermato-Venereology Society with the important aims of improving the quality of patient care, furthering knowledge and education of dermatologists and venereologists and advocating on behalf of the speciality and patients. It is a non-profit organisation with nearly 7,000 members across 116 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologist professional. To find out more visit



About EADV 30th Congress 2021

The EADV's 30th Congress Anniversary Edition is a special celebration of three decades of science and innovation in the Dermatology and Venereology field. The 4-day Scientific Programme packed full with new findings and scientific breakthroughs and provides a unique opportunity to hear the latest in Dermato-Venereology and connect with leading experts. To find out more visit



  1. González-Cantero, A, et al. Understanding real-world experiences and the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on the associated use of biologics in patients with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis through social media monitoring. Abstract no 181 submitted to EADV 30th Congress 2021
  2. van der Schoot, L, et al. Risk of serious and respiratory tract infections in psoriasis patients treated with biologics: results from the Biocapture registry. Abstract no. 1161 submitted to EADV 30th Congress 2021
  3. National Psoriasis Foundation. About Psoriasis. Available from: [Accessed September 2021].
  4. Paris R, et al. Global Epidemiology of Psoriasis: A Systematic Review of Incidence and Prevalence. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 2013. 133(2):377-385
  5. Psoriasis Speaks. About Psoriasis. Available from: [Accessed September 2021].
  6. EADV. Information leaflet for patients. Psoriasis, a closer look. Available from: [Accessed September 2021].
  7. National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis statistics. Available from:,125%20million%20people%20worldwide%E2%80%942%20to%203%20percent%20of%20the,the%20World%20Psoriasis%20Day%20consortium [Accessed September 2021].
  8. Global Psoriasis Atlas. Available from: [Accessed September 2021]
  9. NHS. Psoriatic arthritis. Available from: [Accessed September 2021].
  10. NHS. Arthritis. Available from: [Accessed September 2021].
  11. MedlinePlus. Psoriatic arthritis. Available from: [Accessed September 2021].

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