Abstract

Objective: Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease thought to be of autoimmune origin. It can lead to development of neurological symptoms and increase the risk of infection from communicable diseases. Thus, vaccines are endorsed to mitigate this risk. However, it has not yet been confirmed whether the dysfunctional immune system of these patients combined with taking immunosuppressants can lead to a dampened immunity in response to the influenza vaccine. Infection with the influenza virus is a concern for multiple sclerosis patients. Previous research on multiple sclerosis patients who have received the influenza vaccine focuses on safety and relapse rates. Studies that focus on the immune response mounted against the vaccine in this patient cohort are scant. This study serves to provide a comprehensive picture of the immunogenicity of the influenza vaccine in MS patients. Methods: A systematic review of compiled research was conducted. Data obtained from the research was used in a meta-analysis using risk differences with a 95% confidence interval. Results: Across the various strains incorporated into the influenza vaccine analyzed in this paper, there was no statistical difference in immune response mounted against the influenza vaccine between healthy controls and multiple sclerosis patients. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that multiple sclerosis patients can mount an adequate immune response to the influenza vaccine when compared to healthy controls. Most of the immunotherapies these patients are on do not appear to affect this immune response. Therefore, the influenza vaccine should continue to be recommended to multiple sclerosis patients.
Adults (18+) Elderly (65+) Efficacy/effectiveness Influenza