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Efficacy Of Flu Vaccine Drastically Reduced For RA Patients Treated With Rituximab, University of Groningen Study


1/7/2010 7:42:16 AM

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EurekAlert! -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are partially protected by the influenza vaccine 6-10 months after treatment with rituximab. Researchers determined that while the flu vaccine is safe, it is ineffective for RA patients in the first 6 months following rituximab treatment. Previous influenza vaccination in rituximab-treated patients does increase pre- and post-vaccination titers, providing some defense to influenza strains. RA activity was not influenced by administration of the flu vaccine. Complete findings of this study are available in the January 2010 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American College of Rheumatology.

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