Vaccines and AADC Deficiency
Parents or caregivers of children with aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency may be wondering whether vaccines are safe for these patients.
What are vaccines?
Vaccines generally contain a small piece of a bacterium or virus that cannot cause an infection. However, some vaccines contain the whole bacterium or virus that researchers inactivated or killed so that it cannot cause an infection.
Following a vaccination, your immune system recognizes the virus or bacterium when it tries to infect you. Because your immune system has been “trained,” you may never develop the disease or experience symptoms.
Why do people need the flu vaccine every year?
You may be wondering why people need certain vaccines, like the one for the flu, every year.
Some viruses, including the flu virus, mutate very rapidly. The strains that are around during one flu season may mutate by the end of the season, and may not be recognized by the immune system any longer. To your immune system, it’s like encountering a new virus.
At the end of every flu season, researchers try to predict which strains will be the most common in the next flu season and develop a new vaccine against those strains.
Are vaccines safe for patients with AADC deficiency?
No studies have reported any negative effects of vaccines in patients with AADC deficiency. The current consensus guidelines for treating AADC deficiency recommend maintaining a normal vaccination schedule for your child with AADC deficiency. Your doctor will discuss with you any reasons why your child might need an altered vaccination schedule.
What about vaccines for COVID-19?
Several vaccines are under development for COVID-19, but none are yet available. Because AADC deficiency is so rare, no recommendations have been published for these patients or cases of COVID-19 infection reported. When a vaccine becomes available, there are no indications that it would be problematic for patients with AADC deficiency.
Last updated: July 29, 2020
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