Types of vaccine part 54

Immunizing the immunocompromised

People may be immunocompromised due to HIV/AIDS, congenital immune deficiencies or drug treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions  and high dose steroids.

The potential risks of live vaccines need to be weighed against the benefits in immunocompromised clients who may be particularly vulnerable to the vaccine-preventable disease. Concerns are that they may not respond adequately to subunit and inactivated vaccination and that LAV vaccines are potentially pathogenic. 

Routine childhood vaccination-except BCG vaccination- are not contraindicated in children with asymptomatic HIV-infection; however, timing of vaccination may be earlier or more frequent in this subgroup.

In symptomatic HIV/AIDS, LAV vaccines are contraindicated, e.g. measles and yellow fever vaccines should not be given.

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