Recommendations for live viral and bacterial vaccines in immunodeficient patients and their close contacts

William T. Shearer, Thomas A. Fleisher, Rebecca H. Buckley, Zuhair Ballas, Mark Ballow, R. Michael Blaese, Francisco A. Bonilla, Mary Ellen Conley, Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles, Alexandra H. Filipovich, Ramsay Fuleihan, Erwin W. Gelfand, Vivian Hernandez-Trujillo, Steven M. Holland, Richard Hong, Howard M. Lederman, Harry L. Malech, Stephen Miles, Luigi D. Notarangelo, Hans D. OchsJordan S. Orange, Jennifer M. Puck, John M. Routes, E. Richard Stiehm, Kathleen Sullivan, Troy Torgerson, Jerry Winkelstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present uncertainty of which live viral or bacterial vaccines can be given to immunodeficient patients and the growing neglect of societal adherence to routine immunizations has prompted the Medical Advisory Committee of the Immune Deficiency Foundation to issue recommendations based on published literature and the collective experience of the committee members. These recommendations address the concern for immunodeficient patients acquiring infections from healthy subjects who have not been immunized or who are shedding live vaccine-derived viral or bacterial organisms. Such transmission of infectious agents can occur within the hospital, clinic, or home or at any public gathering. Collectively, we define this type of transmission as close-contact spread of infectious disease that is particularly relevant in patients with impaired immunity who might have an infection when exposed to subjects carrying vaccine-preventable infectious diseases or who have recently received a live vaccine. Immunodeficient patients who have received therapeutic hematopoietic stem transplantation are also at risk during the time when immune reconstitution is incomplete or while they are receiving immunosuppressive agents to prevent or treat graft-versus-host disease. This review recommends the general education of what is known about vaccine-preventable or vaccine-derived diseases being spread to immunodeficient patients at risk for close-contact spread of infection and describes the relative risks for a child with severe immunodeficiency. The review also recommends a balance between the need to protect vulnerable subjects and their social needs to integrate into society, attend school, and benefit from peer education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)961-966
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Live viral and bacterial vaccines
  • cellular immune reconstitution
  • primary immunodeficiency disease
  • severe combined immunodeficiency disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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