Introduction The aim of our study is to assess the seasonal influenza vaccination uptake in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Methods We have conducted a telephonic survey of our IBD patients in February 2012 to assess the influenza vaccination uptake for winter 2011–2012.
Results 140 children had responded to this survey (61.6% of our IBD patients). 84 children had Crohn’s disease, 35 had Ulcerative colitis and 21 had IBD unclassified. Majority of these children (90/140) were on immunosuppressive treatments. 61 children (44%) had received seasonal influenza vaccination in that winter. 21 of them received in October, 20 in November, 13 in December and 3 in January. Out of the 79 children who have not received the influenza vaccine, 42 were not aware of the need for vaccination and did not have the influenza vaccine in the previous winters as well. 10 children were aware of the need for the influenza vaccine; however they opted not to receive the vaccine. 14 children intended to receive the vaccine, however this was deferred due to various reasons like intercurrent illness, family bereavement and difficulties experienced the General Practice surgery. Only one IBD patient needed hospitalisation in 2011 and 2012 with Influenza infection, however this was in July before the vaccination had started.
Conclusion Department of Health advises influenza vaccination for immunosuppressed individuals and also for children with medical conditions, who may need treatment with steroids for more than a month. European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO) recommend influenza vaccination for IBD patients on immunomodulators. Experience from Philadelphia, Boston and Poland show that good, but variable, antibody response occurs after influenza vaccination in children and better protection occurs against type A strains. Side effects, both local and systemic, are generally mild. Experience from Australia and Germany show that the seasonal flu vaccination uptake in IBD patients are generally low, 10% and 16% respectively. We would like to hear from other centres about their experience of influenza vaccination uptake in IBD patients. Further efforts need to be done to increase the awareness of influenza vaccination in patients with IBD.
Influenza vaccination uptake in our IBD patients are better than reported from other centres, however further work needs to be done both locally and nationally to improve the influenza vaccination uptake.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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