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Z Rheumatol. 2007 Mar;66(2):111-2, 114-8, 120.

[Immunization in children and adolescents with rheumatic diseases].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Deutsches Rheuma-Forschungszentrum Berlin und Universitätskinderklinik Charité, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Otto-Heubner-Centrum, SPZ, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin.


Vaccinations represent a special problem in children and adolescents with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. There are very limited data on the safety and efficacy of vaccines in these patients, and guidelines for immunization are missing. The immunosuppressive therapy often necessary for these patients gives rise to additional uncertainty. In addition, many colleagues consider vaccination to increase the risk of relapse of the rheumatic illness. As a consequence, there are substantial variations in practicing vaccination in these patients, resulting in insufficient vaccination coverage rates. For example, every third patient with juvenile idiopathic arthritis is incompletely vaccinated; this even includes toxoid vaccines for tetanus and diphtheria. The benefit of vaccinations, which far outweighs their potential risks, is well recognized even in patients with autoimmune diseases. These patients in particular require a special protection from infections due to their immunosuppressive therapies. Therefore, children and adolescents with rheumatic diseases should be immunized according to the Standing Immunization Commission of the Robert Koch Institute recommendations whenever possible. However, the time of vaccination must be carefully selected, taking disease activity and treatment into account.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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