Update on Immunizations in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients: What Clinicians Need to Know


* Corresponding author: Robin Avery, averyr@ccf.org


Vaccine-preventable diseases remain a major source of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients. Since the publication of the American Society of Transplantation's guidelines for vaccination of solid organ transplant recipients in 2004 (1), several new vaccines have been licensed. Transplant clinicians have been inundated by questions from patients and colleagues regarding the utility and safety of these vaccines in transplant candidates and recipients. In addition, new data has appeared regarding utility of some established vaccines, lack of rejection after vaccination and newer adjuvant strategies. Literature published between 2004 and 2007 was reviewed in a Medline search. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices are reviewed and summarized, with particular attention to vaccines for human papillomavirus, varicella and varicella-zoster, tetanus-reduced diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) and hepatitis B, as well as conjugated meningococcal and conjugated pneumococcal vaccines. Although randomized controlled trials in transplant recipients have not been performed for most new licensed vaccines, preliminary recommendations can be formulated based on current data and guidelines. Further studies will be important to determine the indications and optimal timing of newer immunizations and immunization strategies.