Immune modulation is a key therapeutic tool for allergic diseases and asthma. It can be achieved in an antigen-specific way via allergen immunotherapy (AIT) or in endotype-driven approach using biologicals that target the major pathways of the type 2 (T2) immune response: IgE, IL-5 and IL-4/IL-13. COVID-19 vaccine provides an excellent opportunity to tackle the global pandemics and is currently being applied in an accelerated rhythm worldwide. It works as well through immune modulation. Thus, as there is an obvious interference between these treatment modalities recommendations on how they should be applied in sequence are expected. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) gathered an outstanding expert panel under its Research and Outreach Committee (ROC). This expert panel was called to evaluate the evidence and formulate recommendation on the administration of COVID-19 vaccine in patients with allergic diseases and asthma receiving AIT or biologicals. The panel also formulated recommendations for COVID-19 vaccine in association with biologicals targeting the type 1 or type 3 immune response. In formulating recommendations, the panel evaluated the mechanisms of COVID-19 infection, of COVID-19 vaccine, of AIT and of biologicals and considered the data published for other anti-infectious vaccines administered concurrently with AIT or biologicals.
Although there is a considerable body of knowledge about allergen immunotherapy (AIT), there is a lack of data on the reliability of real-world evidence (RWE) in AIT and consequently, a lack of information on how AIT effectively works in real life. To address the current unmet need for an appraisal of the quality of RWE in AIT, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Methodology Committee recently initiated a systematic review of observational studies of AIT, which will use the RELEVANT tool and the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation approach (GRADE) to rate the quality of the evidence base as a whole. The next step will be to develop a broadly applicable, pragmatic “real-world” database using systematic data collection. Based on the current RWE base, and perspectives and recommendations of authorities and scientific societies, a hierarchy of RWE in AIT is proposed, which places pragmatic trials and registry data at the positions of highest level of evidence. There is a need to establish more AIT registries that collect data in a cohesive way, using standardised protocols. This will provide an essential source of real-world data that can be easily shared, promoting evidence-based research and quality improvement in study design and clinical decision-making.