The effectiveness and safety of vaccinations can be altered by immunosuppressive therapies, and perhaps by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) itself. These recommendations developed by the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology and endorsed by the American Gastroenterological Association, aim to provide guidance on immunizations in adult and pediatric patients with IBD. This publication focused on inactivated vaccines.
Systematic reviews evaluating the efficacy, effectiveness, and safety of vaccines in patients with IBD, other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, and the general population were performed. Critical outcomes included mortality, vaccine-preventable diseases, and serious adverse events. Immunogenicity was considered a surrogate outcome for vaccine efficacy. Certainty of evidence and strength of recommendations were rated according to the GRADE (Grading of Recommendation Assessment, Development, and Evaluation) approach. Key questions were developed through an iterative online platform, and voted on by a multidisciplinary group. Recommendations were formulated using the Evidence-to-Decision framework. Strong recommendation means that most patients should receive the recommended course of action, whereas a conditional recommendation means that different choices will be appropriate for different patients.
Consensus was reached on 15 of 20 questions. Recommendations address the following vaccines: Haemophilus influenzae type b, recombinant zoster, hepatitis B, influenza, pneumococcus, meningococcus, tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, and human papillomavirus. Most of the recommendations for patients with IBD are congruent with the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommendations for the general population, with the following exceptions. In patients with IBD, the panel suggested Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine for patients older than 5 years of age, recombinant zoster vaccine for adults younger than 50 year of age, and hepatitis B vaccine for adults without a risk factor. Consensus was not reached, and recommendations were not made for 5 statements, due largely to lack of evidence, including double-dose hepatitis B vaccine, timing of influenza immunization in patients on biologics, pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines in adult patients without risk factors, and human papillomavirus vaccine in patients aged 27-45 years.
Patients with IBD may be at increased risk of some vaccine-preventable diseases. Therefore, maintaining appropriate vaccination status in these patients is critical to optimize patient outcomes. In general, IBD is not a contraindication to the use of inactivated vaccines, but immunosuppressive therapy may reduce vaccine responses.

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