Patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIRDs) are at increased risk of infections. This risk has been further increased by the introduction of biologic agents over the past two decades. One of the most effective strategies to prevent infection is vaccination. However, patients with an AIRD have a compromised immune system, which is further impaired by medication. Another important issue is the possibility of triggering a broad nonspecific response by vaccination, potentially resulting in increased activity of the underlying autoimmune disease. In this Review, we provide an analysis of data on vaccination of patients with an AIRD. Both the efficacy and the safety of vaccination are addressed, together with the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable infectious diseases in different subgroups of adults with AIRDs. Special attention is given to vaccination of patients who are treated with biologic agents.