NPF COVID-19 Task Force Issues Updated Guidance Statements

The National Psoriasis Foundation has updated its guidance statements for individuals living with psoriatic disease during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) COVID-19 Task Force has issued new guidance statements for people living with psoriatic disease in response to updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals, according to a press release.

In the updated guidance statements, the NPF COVID-19 Task Force recommends people with psoriatic disease who are also taking abatacept, cyclosporine, leflunomide, glucocorticoids (i.e., prednisone), methotrexate, or tofacitinib, to continue to use face masks and social distance when encountering people who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be verified. This is due to psoriatic disease patients taking immunosuppressant medications may increase the risk of infection. Even if these individuals are fully vaccinated, they still might not be fully protected.

The task force also suggests avoiding antibody testing to assess immunity after COVID-19 vaccination. For those concerned about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, the task force recommends individuals refer to guidance 4.10 and 5.2.

“The NPF COVID-19 Task Force is excited about the release of the new CDC guidelines,” said Joel M. Gelfand, MD, 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. “It’s important to emphasize that the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, especially by dramatically lowering the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death, as well as reducing the ability of a vaccinated person to spread the virus.

He added, “While emerging data suggest that some more broadly immune targeted treatments, such as methotrexate, may slightly reduce the antibody response to COVID-19 vaccines, patients on these treatments should still get vaccinated as they likely still provide protection from severe COVID-19 illness. Our recommendations are out of an abundance of caution until we have more data. While we await more research, the best way to prevent COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and if there is reason to be concerned that you might not have an optimal vaccine response due to the medications you are taking for psoriatic disease, then continue to mask and distance when you are in contact with people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The task force was officially launched in May 2020 to help identify needs for the psoriatic disease community and be an expert resource to the NPF in an advisory capacity.

“The incredible NPF task force continues to support our community by providing thoughtful and timely recommendations,” said Stacie Bell, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer for NPF. “As we move forward into the new normal, NPF will continue to provide evidence-based guidance for those living with psoriatic disease.”

For more information, visit the NPF COVID-19 Resource Center.

Reference:

1. Npf covid-19 task force issues new guidance statements in response to cdc guidelines. National Psoriasis Foundation. June 1, 2021. Accessed June 22, 2021. https://www.psoriasis.org/covid-19-statements-in-response-to-cdc-guidelines/