In 2011, the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) published recommendations regarding the vaccination of children with rheumatic diseases. These recommendations were based on a systematic literature review published in that same year. Since then, the evidence body on this topic has grown substantially. This review provides an update of the systematic literature study of 2011, summarizing all the available evidence on the safety and immunogenicity of vaccination in paediatric patients with rheumatic diseases. The current search yielded 21 articles, in addition to the 27 articles described in the 2011 review. In general, vaccines are immunogenic and safe in this patient population. The effect of immunosuppressive drugs on the immunogenicity of vaccines was not detrimental for glucocorticosteroids and methotrexate. Biologicals could accelerate a waning of antibody levels over time, although most patients were initially protected adequately. Overall, persistence of immunological memory may be reduced in children with rheumatic diseases, which shows the need for (booster) vaccination. This update of the 2011 systematic literature review strengthens the evidence base for the EULAR recommendations, and it must be concluded that vaccinations in patients with rheumatic diseases should be advocated.

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Current Rheumatology Reports
Department of Immunology

Groot, N, Heijstek, M.W, & Wulffraat, N.M. (2015). Vaccinations in Paediatric Rheumatology: an Update on Current Developments. Current Rheumatology Reports (Vol. 17). doi:10.1007/s11926-015-0519-y