Background

In order to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, people who have undergone a solid organ transplant require varying doses of immune suppressive medication. Once a patient is immune suppressed, seroprotection gained from immunisation may be suboptimal and therefore additional doses of vaccines may be recommended. Some vaccines (live-attenuated vaccines) may be contraindicated.

To overcome this and maximise immune responses it is recommended where possible that all vaccines are administered well before transplant with live-attenuated vaccines administered a minimum of 4 weeks prior to transplant.

Please refer to MVEC: Pre-solid organ transplant recipient immunisation guideline (0-18 years) for more information.

For immunisation recommendations following a solid organ transplant please refer to your immunisation specialist for specific advice.

MVEC special risk guidelines

These guidelines have been prepared by immunisation staff from the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Health and endorsed at a monthly immunisation meeting. Attendees at this meeting include paediatricians, infectious disease physicians, nurse immunisation specialists, infection control team members and a representative from the Immunisation Section of the Victorian Department of Health.

These guidelines are based on the latest available evidence and aim to align with recommendations in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Vaccine funding

Some of the recommendations in these guidelines are outside the scope of the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Different jurisdictions and individual hospitals have varying approaches to non-NIP vaccines, which should be clarified with the local health service.

We welcome any feedback on the guidelines, please email: info.mvec@mcri.edu.au

Resources

Authors: Nigel Crawford (Director, SAEFVIC, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) and Rachael McGuire (SAEFVIC Research Nurse, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)

Reviewed by: Rachael McGuire (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator) and Annie Cobbledick (Immunisation Pharmacist, the Royal Children’s Hospital)

Date: March 2021

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.