Injected live-attenuated vaccines such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) and varicella (chickenpox) vaccination may be affected by circulating antibodies in immunoglobulin therapy or blood products. This includes normal human immunoglobulin therapy for conditions like Kawasaki’s disease or a blood transfusion for treatment of a medical condition.
There are recommended intervals between either immunoglobulins or blood products and administration of injected live attenuated vaccines. (see resource link below)
For some patients under the care of a haematologist, and requiring regular red-blood cell transfusions as maintenance therapy for a chronic condition, it may be considered appropriate to proceed with immunisation of a live-attenuated vaccine. Please refer to your haematologist or an immunisation specialist for specific advice.
Note that inactivated (non-live) vaccines can be safely administered following immunoglobulins or blood products.
- Australian Immunisation Handbook: Intervals between immunoglobulins or blood products and MMR, MMRV or varicella vaccination
- Australian Immunisation Handbook: Vaccination for people who have recently received normal human immunoglobulin and other blood products
Authors: Nigel Crawford (Director, SAEFVIC, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) and Rachael McGuire (SAEFVIC Research Nurse, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)
Date: September 2018
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.