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Flu vaccination for children receiving or recently completing chemotherapy was effective

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In children who are undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy or who have recently completed treatment, does flu vaccination induce useful immune responses and prevent disease?

Review scope

Studies were selected that compared children who had received flu vaccination with those who had not. Children on or within 1 month of completion of chemotherapy were included. Any type of schedule of vaccination was considered. Clinical outcomes included assessment of rates of disease, duration of illness and severity of illness (measured by intensive care unit admission and mortality). Immunological response was measured by prehaemaglutinin and posthaemaglutinin antibody tires. Adverse effects were recorded.

Review methods

The Cochrane Clinical Trials Register, MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched (to 2007) for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs). Proceedings of relevant international conferences were also searched from 2001 to 2006. No language restrictions were applied. Quality of studies was assessed by the Cochrane approach for RCTs and the Newcastle–Ottowa approach for CCTs. Eight studies were included: one RCT and seven CCTs.

Main results

The eight studies included 702 participants. Data were too heterogeneous to pool statistically. No studies reported …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.