Giamarellos-Bourboulis EJ, Bettoli V, Jemec GBE, et al. Anti-COVID-19 measurements for hidradenitis suppurativa patients. Exp Dermatol 2021;30(suppl 1):18–22

Taking into consideration the available data, the experts of the symposium “Anti-COVID-19 measurements in HS patients”, which took place during the 10th International Conference of the EHSF e.V. reached unanimously a consensus on behalf of the European Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation e.V., which includes the following measures:

  • The prevalence of COVID-19 in patients with HS is apparently lower than that of the general population. This may be due to HS patients having been especially careful with social shielding. However, underestimation is also possible.
  • HS appears not to be associated with a more severe course of COVID-19.
  • Treatment of HS with antibiotics and the TNF-α inhibitor adalimumab seems not to increase the risk for COVID-19 or induce a more severe course.
  • Treatment initiation of HS patients with other therapeutic compounds should be carefully evaluated at individual level.
  • Even if we do not yet know what effect—if any—vaccination has on HS (and vice versa), anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccination is recommended. Benefits versus risks should be considered at an individual level.
  • Treatment with adalimumab appears to be compatible with anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccination and should not be interrupted, especially in moderate-to-severe HS. It might be suspended around the time point of anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccination.
  • It is still unclear if biologics may compromise SARS-CoV2 vaccination. Serological confirmation of successful vaccination by ELISA is still not recommended as routine practice.
  • National self-protection and hygiene measurements should be adhered to. Self-protection with masks is recommended even despite vaccination.
  • This consensus is based on expert opinion and literature evidence, and complements the recommendations already published by other scientific societies.

Based on the available knowledge, HS patients may be vaccinated and the group of them, affected with metabolic syndrome, at the soonest possible time. HS patients on adalimumab treatment can be vaccinated with non-living virus anti-SARS-CoV2 vaccines. A possible suboptimal effect of the vaccine may be suspected. The management of the biological treatment in HS patients is at the discretion of the dermatologist / responsible physician.