High dose flu vaccine improves immune response for people with rheumatoid arthritis – new study

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flu jab, flu vaccine, rheumatoid arthritis flu, arthritis information, arthritis digestThe use of a high-dose trivalent inactivated flu vaccine seems to improve immune response in people with rheumatoid arthritis better than the standard-dose quadrivalent inactivated vaccine, according to data presented at an international conference.

“People living with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk for influenza infection and influenza-related illness,” explained Dr Ines Colmegna, who is involved in the research. “This derives from inheriting new dysfunctions associated with rheumatoid arthritis, comorbidities, the age of our patients and immunosuppressive therapy. This is the basis for the current recommendations for administering influenza vaccines on an annual basis. However, people with rheumatoid arthritis have suboptimal vaccine effectiveness as a result of impaired immunogenicity. As a consequence of that, our patients have an increased risk for severe influenza, and there is a high priority to develop new approaches to decrease this risk.”

A total of 140 volunteers were given the standard flu vaccine and 139 volunteers received the high-dose vaccine. Commenting on their findings Dr Colmegna highlights:

“This is the first randomized controlled trial documenting a successful intervention to improve influenza vaccine responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. This study shows that, compared to a standard dose vaccine, a high-dose vaccine improves immuno-responses to influenza vaccine strains, and is not associated with increased disease activity. Because of these conclusions, we believe that these results will likely change the clinical practice.”

Source: HelioRheumatology

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