It became clear that the coronavirus pandemic could not be controlled without vaccines. However, as time has passed, some adverse effects have also been reported in association with all the vaccines. The possible association of vitiligo with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine BNT162b2 (Cominarty®) in a patient with ulcerative colitis (UC) was reported during July 2021. So far, it is not clear if the vitiligo in this patient was caused by vaccination, however, the temporal relationship between vitiligo and covid-19 vaccination in patients with autoimmune disorders is being invested by a few research journals.
In July 2021, an important voice of vitiligo awareness, Tonja Johnson was profiled by Tampa Bay Times in an important community story. Tonja, who herself has had her journey of self-acceptance with vitiligo founded “Beautifully Unblemished,” a vitiligo support group, to support those with the same skin condition.
Growing up in Plant City, Tonja was bullied, constantly glared, and teased. In 2011, at 43, she started to lose the skin she grew to adore. She was diagnosed with vitiligo and had a lot of questions but few answers. Tonja didn’t know anyone with vitiligo who she could talk to. So, she started looking for a support group but couldn’t find any in Florida. So after nearly four years of seeking help, she finally created one named: Beautifully Unblemished. The support group, at present, has more than 175 members.
In another media story this month, Salama Mohamed, a UAE influencer, while talking to several media outlets, got candid about her journey to embracing vitiligo as the seed of bringing her new skincare brand to life. Salama, who launched her much-anticipated skincare brand Peacefull on June 21, heavily promoted the brand in worldwide media and on her social channels.
The same month, a “not so encouraging” news came at the vitiligo research front. Arcutis Biotherapeutics announced early termination of its phase 2a trial that aimed at evaluating ARQ-252 as a potential treatment for vitiligo. The biopharmaceutical company cited inadequate local drug delivery to the skin as the reason behind abandoning the trial midway. It has also been reported that ARQ-253 also failed to meet its primary endpoint for further qualification.