Vaccination Coverage in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Getting sick is usually not the choice for many, but illnesses can be especially dangerous for people with comprised immune systems. In this population, vaccinations can be essential to prevent infections that would be more difficult to fight. In a study published in Rheumatology, researchers aimed to assess the coverage rates of selected vaccinations in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, as well as identify predictors for non-vaccination. 

The study included 579 patients. For the studyresearchers collected information in 2013 on selected vaccinations (coverage, application and reservations) and on demographics, clinical parameters and health beliefs was assessed by means of a self-reported questionnaire among a representative sample of SLE patients in Germany (also called the LuLa cohort). The patients’ general practitioners primarily checked patients to evaluate their vaccination status. According to the vaccination status results, 24.9% did not get their vaccination status checked at all, 16.1% had generally been advised against the use of vaccinations by a physician, and 37.5% stated that they had rejected vaccinations themselves. According to the patients, their main concerns in getting vaccinations were lupus flare (21.8%) or adverse events (13.5%). Results also showed that greater belief by patients in the doctor controlling one’s health and the general benefit of medication prevented the rejection of vaccines. 

“Vaccination coverage in SLE patients is poor and reflects insufficient implementation of national and international recommendations,” the researchers concluded. “Rheumatologists need to recognize patients’ reservations against vaccinations, to communicate their importance and safety and to give individual recommendations to patients and their health-care providers.” 

Check out another article on lupus and the issues with clinical trials. 

SOURCE: Rheumatology