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Effectiveness of influenza vaccine in patients on hemodialysis – a review

Agnieszka Mastalerz-Migas, Elzbieta Gwiazda, Lidia B. Brydak

(Department of Family Medicine, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1013-1018

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889671


The influenza virus is one of the most common causes of viral respiratory tract infections. Some chronic diseases predispose to a severe course of the disease and increase the risk of complications and death. To minimize the risk of infection and complications, care of patients with increased risk should include prophylactic measures such as the administration of a seasonal influenza vaccine. An influenza vaccine is the best and cheapest method of influenza prevention. It is indicated for patients with chronic kidney disease, both during conservative treatment and renal replacement therapy.
Many studies that have assessed the efficacy of an influenza vaccine in patients on hemodialysis have found that immune deficiency predisposes these patients to infection and a severe course of the disease. Because the immune response to a standard influenza vaccine in this population is weak, the studies covered many aspects of vaccination, including the need for a booster dose.
Unlike in a healthy population, the efficacy of an influenza vaccine in patients on hemodialysis might be insufficient; however, the vaccine is still able to induce immunity in a significant number of patients. Considering the latest data and the results of studies described above, the recommendation of a seasonal influenza vaccine should be obligatory in all hemodialysis patients.
This paper is based on original articles available from Medline database. The most recent and most significant literature on the influenza vaccine in patients on hemodialysis has been reviewed.

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