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Immunosuppression and Vaccination in Family Practices

DOI: 10.3238/zfa.2017.0056-0063

german translation / full article

Julia Hansmann-Wiest, Christiane Kling, Dietrich Kabelitz

Keywords: altered immune competence malignant disease transplantation autoimmune disease varicella zoster human papillomavirus

Background: Immunocompromised patients need to be especially protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Search methods: By referring to national and international guidelines and those of the Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, essential information on this topic is summarized.

Main messages: Predisposing conditions which can lead to persisting or intermittent immune incompetence affect up to 10 % of the population and thus occur frequently. The most prevalent causes of immunosuppression are therapeutic interventions in malignant and autoimmune disease. Vaccination is most effective when applied at least four weeks before immunosuppression occurs. Under immunosuppression, live attenuated vaccines are contraindicated. Asplenic patients as a special case need to be vaccinated for vital reasons as soon as the diagnosis is established.

Conclusions: Vaccination of the healthy population according to the national guidelines and of the household members of immunocompromised patients – extended to the personnel – are important contributions in family practice. Thus, baseline protection is established if a disease causing immunosuppression occurs. In case the standard vaccination program has not been realized and additional vaccinations are warranted in the context of immunosuppression, a specialist center should be consulted.


(State: 23.06.2017)

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