Immunizing the immunocompromised
People may be immunocompromisedImmunocompromised (also immunosupression)Unable to mount a normal immune response. This condition can be genetic, or caused by disease (like HIV infection or cancer) by certain drugs (such as those used in chemotherapy and organ transplantation). Individuals whose immune systems are severely compromised should not receive LAV vaccines. due to HIV/AIDS, congenitalCongenitalA condition that is present at birth, though not necessarily hereditary. immune deficiencies or drugDrug (or medicine)Any substance in a pharmaceutical product that is used to modify or exploit physiological systems or pathological states for the benefit of the recipient. The term drug/medicinal product is used in a wider sense to include the whole formulated and registered product, including the presentation and packaging, and the accompanying information. Vaccines are drugs/medicines. treatments such as chemotherapy for cancer or other conditions or high dose steroids.
The potential risks of live vaccines need to be weighed against the benefits in immunocompromised individuals 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 vaccinations – except BCG vaccination72– 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.