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Vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) are a significant risk to paediatric solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients on lifelong immunosuppressive therapy. Children progressing to end-stage organ dysfunction are unable to mount a robust immune response. Hence, it is important to plan vaccination early in the course of disease, especially if a child is anticipated to be a SOT candidate. Vaccine recommendations need to be individualised in this population based on vaccine history and serology. Catch-up or accelerated schedules may be used to complete vaccinations before transplant. Post-transplant, immunisation is recommenced in consultation with the transplant team taking into context the time since transplant and the intensity of the immunosuppressive regime. Inactivated vaccines are safe post-transplant but postexposure prophylaxis may still be required in children with inadequate immunity to VPD. Specific vaccines may be advised for SOT recipients travelling abroad (in consultation with a travel clinic) or those entering high-risk professions. Additionally, the vaccination status of all household members and close contacts should be reviewed and optimised, offering additional protection to the transplant recipient.

Original publication




Journal article


Arch Dis Child

Publication Date



epidemiology, therapeutics, virology