Patients with rheumatic diseases have an increased risk of infection as a result of underlying immune dysregulation. Immunomodulatory medications further increase this risk. Vaccinations are important in decreasing infectious risk; however, responses to many vaccines are decreased in patients with autoimmunity and in response to immunomodulators. Moreover, live virus vaccinations are contraindicated in many situations. As clinicians, it is important to be familiar with the appropriate use of vaccinations in patient with rheumatic diseases and to consider the effect of different medications on both safety and efficacy.
Upon completion of this session, participants should be able to:
- recognize the importance of appropriate vaccinations in patients with autoimmune disease
- identify the different types of immunizations especially those which are live viruses
- describe the effect of different classes of immunomodulatory medications on vaccine efficacy and safety
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