The following is a summary of “Vaccine Preventable Diseases in Pediatric Palliative Care – A Multicenter Cross-Sectional Study,” published in the February 2023 issue of Pain Management by Vaillant, et al.

Pediatric patients getting specialist home palliative care have distressing symptoms and consequences from illnesses that can be prevented by vaccination. Regarding vaccine compliance, there needs to be more information. For a study, researchers sought to assess vaccination coverage, discuss immunizations’ importance, and offer vaccination advice for children receiving palliative care.

A multicenter cross-sectional investigation compared vaccination data. To gauge symptom load, interviews with experts were undertaken. From January 2019 to December 2019, six German pediatric home palliative care teams treated patients according to their vaccination status. A representative German pediatric cohort’s vaccination rate and the national immunization schedule were compared to the data. In addition, the date of the life-limiting condition’s diagnosis and the beginning of the missed immunization were compared. A risk score was developed to assess the value of each particular immunization.

When compared to healthy controls, there were reduced vaccination rates for Tdpa, haemophilus influenzae type B, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, pneumococcal illness, meningococcal diseases type C, and MMR. There were no appreciable variations in varicella. The prescribed vaccines were often stopped once the palliative illness was diagnosed. According to retrospective statistics, influenza was the disease most frequently prevented by vaccination and had the highest risk score. A practical suggestion for managing immunization in this at-risk population was included in the publication.

Children and teenagers with terminal illnesses were more likely to get infections that can be prevented through vaccination. It was advised to get individual vaccine counseling.