Published online Mar 21, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i11.3184
Peer-review started: September 29, 2014
First decision: October 29, 2014
Revised: November 16, 2014
Accepted: January 30, 2015
Article in press: January 30, 2015
Published online: March 21, 2015
Treatment regimens for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incorporate the use of a variety of immunosuppressive agents that increase the risk of infections. Prevention of many of these infections can be achieved by the timely and judicious use of vaccinations. IBD patients tend to be under-immunized. Some of the contributing factors are lack of awareness regarding the significance of vaccinating IBD patients, misperception about safety of vaccinations in immunocompromised patients, ambiguity about the perceived role of the gastroenterologist in contrast to the primary care physician and unavailability of vaccination guidelines focused on IBD population. In general, immunocompetent IBD patients can be vaccinated using standard vaccination recommendations. However there are special considerations for IBD patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy, IBD travelers and pregnant women with IBD. This review discusses current vaccination recommendations with updates for adult IBD patients. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2013 vaccination guidelines with 2014 updates and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendations have been highlighted as a primary source of recommendations.
Core tip: Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at increased risk of infection because of use of immunosuppressive agents for treatment in many of them. While immunocompetent IBD patients can be vaccinated using standard vaccination schedule, special guidelines need to be followed for IBD patients getting immunosuppressive therapy. In this review article the focus is on current vaccination recommendations for adult IBD patients. This is a much needed discussion as lack of awareness and misperceptions about vaccination safety is a major cause of under immunization in IBD patients.