Frequency of Herpes Zoster Vaccination Low Among Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease have lower rates of herpes zoster vaccinations, despite an increased risk among this population.  Recent findings by lead researcher Nabeel Khan, MD was based on a retrospective study of patients in the Veterans Affairs Health System’s Corporal Michael J.Cresenz VAMC-  It was reported “sicker patients and those with fewer medical visits were less likely to be vaccinated.”
The researchers noted “lack of knowledge has led to many clinicians and patients believing that vaccination may exacerbate IBD disease activity, which is reflected as low vaccination rates in IBD patients.”  There is also speculation that there could be underlying confusion as to which physicians should be administering the vaccine.  The researchers continued “the frequency of of herpes zoster vaccination could be increased if gastroenterologists were to make specific recommendations to primary care providers about the need to immunize patients with IBD with the new herpes zoster vaccine.”
Investigator Khan disclosed financial ties to Pfizer, Luitpold and Takeda.
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