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Vaccination in immunocompromised adults 

Vaccination in immunocompromised adults
Vaccination in immunocompromised adults
Oxford Textbook of Rheumatology (4 ed.)

Sander van Assen

and Marc Bijl

Previous versions of this chapter are available. To view earlier versions of this chapter view the full site here.

This chapter addresses all important questions regarding vaccination of patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIIRD). First, the incidence of vaccine-preventable infections in these patients is discussed. Pulmonary infections, including influenza and pneumococcal infection, occur more often in AIIRD patients; herpes zoster and human papillomavirus are also more frequent. The efficacy of vaccination for all European registered vaccines is discussed. Treatment with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologicals (in particular TNFα‎-blocking agents) do not hamper, or only slightly hamper, the immune responses to most vaccines. Rituximab is an exception, severely reducing humoral responses following influenza and pneumococcal vaccination, at least during the first 6 months after administration. Safety of vaccination is an important issue in patients with autoimmune diseases, since increased disease activity of the underlying disease as a result of vaccination is theoretically possible. The available evidence is summarized, suggesting that vaccination is safe in AIIRD patients. Live vaccines, however, are contraindicated in immunosuppressed patients with AIIRD. Finally, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations are highlighted, summarizing the ’do’s’ and ’don’ts’ of vaccination in adults with AIIRD.

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