Low influenza vaccination rate among patients with systemic sclerosis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2010 Mar;49(3):600-6. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep440. Epub 2009 Dec 29.


Objective: To evaluate the influenza vaccination rate and factors influencing it in patients with SSc.

Methods: A total of 177 SSc patients fulfilling the ACR and/or LeRoy and Medsger criteria were evaluated during annual meetings of the French patient association in 2006 (n = 71) and 2007 (n = 70) or during hospitalization in the Internal Medicine Department of Cochin Hospital in 2007 (n = 36). Information on influenza vaccination was collected by a standardized form.

Results: Mean (s.d.) age and disease duration were 58.7 (12.6) and 10.5 (9.5) years, respectively. Overall, 69 (39%) patients received an influenza vaccination during the previous year. Among the 108 patients who were not vaccinated, 78 (72.2%) presented at least one indication for vaccination. The most frequent reasons for non-vaccination were absence of physician recommendation and fear of side effects. Patients who were and were not vaccinated did not differ in anxiety, depression, global disability or quality of life. Vaccination rate was significantly higher (59%) for patients who remembered receiving a letter from the French National Health Insurance Agency encouraging vaccination than among those who did not (26%, P = 0.0001). Multivariate analysis revealed the year of the last vaccination and age as two independent parameters associated with vaccination.

Conclusions: Influenza vaccination coverage is low in SSc patients. Lack of information and fear of adverse effects are the most common reasons for non-vaccination. Efforts are needed to increase the influenza vaccination coverage in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Influenza Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Scleroderma, Systemic / psychology*
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vaccination / psychology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • Influenza Vaccines