Vaccinations for rheumatoid arthritis

Lisa M. Perry, Kevin L. Winthrop, Jeffrey R. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) suffer an increased burden of infectious disease-related morbidity and mortality and have twice the risk of acquiring a severe infection compared to the general population. This increased risk is not only a result of the autoimmune disease but is also attributed to the immunosuppressive therapies that are commonly used in this patient population. Given the increase in infection-related risks in RA, there is great interest in mitigating such risk. A number of vaccines are available to the rheumatologist, with a handful that are of importance for RA patients in the United States. The goal of this paper is to highlight the most recent literature on the key vaccines and the specific considerations for the rheumatologist and their RA patients, with a particular focus on influenza, pneumococcal, and herpes zoster vaccines. It is important for rheumatologist to understand and be aware of which vaccines are live and what potential contraindications exist for giving vaccines to RA patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number431
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Biologics
  • DMARDs
  • Herpes zoster vaccination
  • Influenza
  • Pneumococcal vaccination
  • RA
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vaccination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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