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Giuseppe La Torre


Influenza vaccination, flu vaccination, pneumococcal vaccination, hematological malignancies, hematological cancer, effectiveness, safety


Background The risk of getting influenza and pneumococcal disease is higher in cancer patients and serum antibody levels tend to be lower in patients with hematological malignancy.

Objective To asses flu and pneumococcal vaccinations efficacy, effectiveness and safety in onco-hematological patients.

Methods Two systematic reviews and possible meta-analysis were conducted to summarize the results of all primary study in scientific literature about flu and pneumococcal vaccine in onco-hematological patients. Literature searches were performed using Pub-Med and Scopus databases. StatsDirect 2.8.0 was used for the analysis.

Results 23 and 26 studies were collected respectively for flu and pneumococcal vaccinations. Protection rate of booster dose was 30% (95% CI = 6.2- 61%) for H1N1. Pooled prevalence protection rate of H3N2 and B was available for meta-analysis only for first dose, 42.6% (95% CI = 23.2 – 63.3 %) and 39.6 % (95% CI = 26%- 54.1%) for H3N2 and B, respectively.

Response rate of booster dose resulted 35% (95% CI = 19.7-51.2%) for H1N1, 23% (95% CI = 16.6-31.5%) for H3N2, 29% (95% CI = 21.3- 37%) for B.

Conclusion Despite low rate of response, flu and pneumococcal vaccines are worthwhile for patients with hematological malignancies. Patients undergoing chemotherapy in particular rituximab, splenectomy, transplant recipient had lower and impaired response. No serious adverse events were reported for both vaccines.


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