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Rev Bras Reumatol. 2013 Feb;53(1):4-23.

2012 Brazilian Society of Rheumatology Consensus on vaccination of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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Departamento de Medicina Interna, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.



To elaborate recommendations to the vaccination of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in Brazil.


Literature review and opinion of expert members of the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology Committee of Rheumatoid Arthritis and of an invited pediatric rheumatologist.


The following 12 recommendations were established: 1) Before starting disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, the vaccine card should be reviewed and updated; 2) Vaccines against seasonal influenza and against H1N1 are indicated annually for patients with RA; 3) The pneumococcal vaccine should be indicated for all patients with RA; 4) The vaccine against varicella should be indicated for patients with RA and a negative or dubious history for that disease; 5) The HPV vaccine should be considered for adolescent and young females with RA; 6) The meningococcal vaccine is indicated for patients with RA only in the presence of asplenia or complement deficiency; 7) Asplenic adults with RA should be immunized against Haemophilus influenzae type B; 8) An additional BCG vaccine is not indicated for patients diagnosed with RA; 9) Hepatitis B vaccine is indicated for patients with RA who are negative for antibodies against HBsAg; the combined hepatitis A and B vaccine should be considered; 10) Patients with RA and at high risk for tetanus, who received rituximab in the preceding 24 weeks, should undergo passive immunization with tetanus immunoglobulin in case of exposure; 11) The YF vaccine is contraindicated to patients with RA on immunosuppressive drugs; 12) The above described recommendations should be reviewed over the course of RA.

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