Immunosuppression refers to a person’s immune system being weakened, resulting in a decreased ability to fight infections. It can be caused by certain medical conditions or by taking specific medications.

Vaccination is particularly important in the setting of immunosuppression as individuals are at an increased risk of developing severe symptoms if exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases. Protection from vaccines can be suboptimal in this patient group and therefore additional doses of vaccines may be recommended. Conversely, some vaccines (live-attenuated vaccines) may be contraindicated due to the potential risk of vaccine-related disease.

We have recently updated our immunosuppression and vaccines reference page to incorporate information specific to COVID-19 immunisation which was previously detailed on a separate page. Information on vaccination timing, recommended vaccines, contraindicated vaccines, and considerations for immunosuppressed breastfeeding mothers and household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals is also included.

Updated MVEC: Immunosuppression and vaccines