Live virus vaccination following pediatric liver transplantation: Outcomes from two academic children's hospitals

Alexander M. Newman*, Leila C. Posch, Lauren Gianchetti, Elizabeth B. Rand, Saeed Mohammad, Kevin J. Downes, William J. Muller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Pediatric liver transplant (LT) recipients are often transplanted at a young age, precluding them from receiving live virus vaccinations (LVV) such as varicella (VZV) vaccine and measles, mumps and rubella. This places them at profound risk for vaccine preventable illness. We sought to detail safety of vaccination. This was a retrospective cohort study of pediatric LT recipients at two children's hospitals. Among 204 LT recipients included in the study, 97 received at least one LVV after LT. Six patients who did not receive LVV after transplant had evidence of vaccine-preventable infection following vaccination (one disseminated VZV disease, five VZV-related rash), while one patient who received LVV after transplant developed a diffuse VZV-related rash. Rejection rates were the same between those that did and did not receive a live virus vaccine post-transplant. There were no serious adverse events caused by vaccination post-transplant. LVV following LT was safe at our two institutions, although there exist limitations in our study due to its retrospective study design. Larger scale studies should be performed to evaluate the effectiveness of LVV in relation to immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1212
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • clinical research/practice
  • infection and infectious agents—viral
  • infection and infectious agents—viral: herpes zoster/Varicella
  • infectious disease
  • liver disease: infectious
  • liver transplantation/hepatology
  • pediatrics
  • preventive healthcare
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy


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