A short article was just published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging that discusses the effectiveness of vaccination of MGUS patients with Prevnar (Pfizer’s 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine). The article provides some cautions for MGUS patients, such as:
‘Numerous studies have confirmed the association of MGUS with infections, particularly pneumonia, infections caused by viruses (cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, chronic viral hepatitis), and tuberculosis. Additionally, the mean survival for patients with MGUS is shorter compared with the healthy population. The major reason for early mortality in this group is infection. Despite a frequently asymptomatic clinical course, MGUS leads to the development of secondary immunodeficiency. The incidence of infections in patients with MGUS is twice as high as that of the healthy population. Patients with MGUS have a 2.4-fold higher risk of pneumonia compared with healthy subjects, and an association between infections and rapid progression from MGUS to Multiple Myeloma was proposed.’ [emphasis added]
The authors’ study objective was ‘… to assess the immune response to the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in treatment-naive MGUS patients versus healthy subjects.’
A group of newly diagnosed MGUS patients was vaccinated immediately after diagnosis and their incidence of infections was monitored over a period of five years and compared against vaccinated healthy patients. All infections in both groups were recorded during the follow-up period.
The authors concluded :
The authors make several other very worthwhile observations :
This is something you can do for yourself if you are a MGUS patient and have not yet been vaccinated with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. This is a good time to do so, together with your flu vaccine. By the way, Prevnar is a 13-valent vaccine (in other words, it provides protection against 13 pneumococcus strains). There is also a 23-valent vaccine that has more recently entered the market. I suggest that you discuss this (vaccination) topic with your physician and receive guidance as to which of the different vaccines would be the better option for you.
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