HOUSTON — Few patients with severe asthma treated with Nucala received herpes zoster and influenza vaccines in the years that followed, despite CDC and Infectious Disease Society of America guidelines recommending both vaccines, according to study results discussed at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting.
“These patients are taking steroids and are probably at higher risk for these viruses,” Erin Hulbert, of the health economics and outcomes research department at Optum LifeSciences, told attendees.
Researchers reviewed electronic health record data from 1,271 patients with severe asthma receiving Nucala (mepolizumab, GlaxoSmithKline) aged between 39 and 73 years.
“One of the great things about looking in the EHR data is that we can look across providers, across payers and see if [patients] are telling their physicians they received the vaccines,” Hulbert said.
Few patients with severe asthma treated with Nucala received herpes zoster and influenza vaccines in the years that followed, according to data presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology annual meeting.
Researchers found that of the 838 individuals aged 50 years and older, 21.1% received the herpes zoster vaccine within 5 years pre-index mepolizumab treatment, and 2.7% received that vaccine post-index. In addition, 45.5% of the patients received at least one inuenza vaccine in the 1-year pre-index and 9.3% received that vaccine post-index.
Hulbert said the herpes zoster and influenza vaccination rates among the patients after they received mepolizumab were “low” despite some evidence suggesting that they need these vaccines more than others.
“Increased awareness of the need to vaccinate these patients is needed among health care providers,” she and her colleagues wrote. – by Janel Miller
Reference: Hulbert E, et al. Treatment patterns of influenza and zoster vaccinations in patients prescribed mepolizumab. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting; Nov. 7-11, 2019; Houston.
Disclosures: Hulbert is employed by Optum, a consulting company that has received research funds from GlaxoSmithKline. Please see the poster for all other authors’ relevant disclosures.