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    Varicella-Zoster Vaccines

    DEA CLASS

    Rx

    DESCRIPTION

    Live vaccine use to provide immunity against the varicella-zoster virus
    Two vaccines available: Varivax for preventions of varicella virus infection (chickenpox) and Zostavax for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles)
    Contraindicated in pregnant and immunosuppressed patients

    COMMON BRAND NAMES

    Varivax, Zostavax

    HOW SUPPLIED

    Varivax/Zostavax Subcutaneous Inj Pwd F/Sol: 1350pfu, 19400pfu

    DOSAGE & INDICATIONS

    For varicella (chickenpox) infection prophylaxis to provide active immunity against the varicella (chickenpox) virus in susceptible adults and children >= 12 months old.
    For varicella prophylaxis for outbreak control† of local epidemics of wild-type varicella virus in susceptible persons following varicella exposure.
    Subcutaneous dosage (Varivax)
    Healthy Adults, Adolescents, and Children

    Consult the current recommendations of the CDC. The vaccine, when administered to previously unvaccinated individuals in settings of close contact within 36 hours of exposure, is roughly 95% effective in preventing the occurrence of varicella and appears to prevent severe disease. Other data suggest that the varicella virus vaccine live is effective in preventing illness or modifying varicella infection severity if administered within 3 days, and possibly 5 days, of exposure.

    Subcutaneous dosage (Varivax)
    Healthy Adults and Adolescents >= 13 years

    0.5 ml SC initially, followed by a second dose of 0.5 ml SC 4—8 weeks later. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 2 doses of varicella vaccine be administered to patients without evidence of immunity to varicella. For patients who previously received only 1 dose, a second catch-up varicella vaccination is recommended. Evidence of immunity to varicella includes any of the following: documentation of 2 doses of varicella vaccine at least 4 weeks apart; U.S.-born before 1980, but birth before 1980 should not be considered evidence of immunity for health-care workers, immunocompromised patients, and pregnant women; history of varicella based on diagnosis or verification of varicella by a health-care provider (for a patient reporting a history of or presenting with an atypical case, a mild case, or both, health-care providers should seek either an epidemiologic link with a typical varicella case or evidence of laboratory confirmation, if it was performed at the time of acute disease); history of herpes zoster based on health-care provider diagnosis; or laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation.

    Healthy Children and Adolescents < 13 years of age

    A single dose of 0.5 ml SC. If a second 0.5 ml dose is administered, it should be given a minimum of 3 months later. All healthy children should be routinely vaccinated at 12—18 months of age unless a reliable history of varicella infection is present. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the first dose be given at 12—15 months of age and a second dose be given at 4—6 years of age. The second vaccination may be administered before the age of 4—6 years if at least 3 months have elapsed since the first dose and both doses are administered at age > 12 months. If second dose was administered more than 28 days after the first dose, the second dose does not need to be repeated. Children who do not have reliable histories of immunity or vaccination should have a routine immunization visit at 11—12 years of age to review immunization status and to administer any necessary vaccinations, including varicella virus vaccine live if the child is deemed varicella susceptible. A second dose catch-up varicella vaccination is recommended for patients who previously received 1 dose. The recommended minimum interval between the first dose and the catch-up second dose is at least 3 months for children aged <12 years.

    HIV-infected Adults† and Adolescents† with CD4 counts > 200 cells/mm3 and Children† with age-specific CD4 percentages of at least 15%

    0.5 ml SC initially, followed by a second dose of 0.5 ml SC administered 3 months later.

    For herpes zoster (shingles) infection prophylaxis among patients who have had varicella exposure either naturally or through vaccination.
    Subcutaneous dosage (Zostavax)

    NOTE: Neither an inquiry regarding history of varicella nor serologic testing need to be conducted in order to determine varicella immunity.
    NOTE: The vaccine is not indicated for the treatment of herpes zoster or postherpetic neuralgia, nor prevention of primary varicella infection.

    Adults >= 50 years of age

    0.65 ml/dose SC once. A single dose is recommended by the CDC for all adults at least 60 years of age without a contraindication to vaccine receipt. In the major efficacy and safety trial in adults 50—59 years, the incidence rate of herpes zoster per 1000 person-years was 1.994 for vaccine recipients compared to 6.596 for placebo recipients. Among adults 60 years and older in the Shingles Prevention Study (SPS), the incidence rate of herpes zoster per 1000 person-years was 5.4 for vaccine recipients compared to 11.1 for placebo recipients.

    MAXIMUM DOSAGE

    Adults

    >= 50 years: 0.5 ml/dose SC for Varivax; 0.65 ml/dose SC for Zostavax.
    < 50 years: 0.5 ml/dose SC for Varivax; Do not use Zostavax.

    Geriatric

    0.5 ml/dose SC for Varivax; 0.65 ml/dose SC for Zostavax.

    Adolescents

    0.5 ml/dose SC for Varivax; Do not use Zostavax.

    Children

    0.5 ml/dose SC for Varivax; Do not use Zostavax.

    Infants

    Do not use.

    Neonates

    Do not use.

    DOSING CONSIDERATIONS

    Hepatic Impairment

    Specific guidelines for dosage adjustments in hepatic impairment are not available; it appears that no dosage adjustments are needed.

    Renal Impairment

    Specific guidelines for dosage adjustments in renal impairment are not available; it appears that no dosage adjustments are needed.

    ADMINISTRATION

     
    Health care professionals should have immediate availability of epinephrine (1:1000) injection and other agents used in the treatment of severe anaphylaxis in the event of a serious allergic reaction.
    Inform the patient, parent, guardian, or responsible adult of the benefits and risks of the vaccine. Provide the Vaccine Information Statements from the manufacturer to the recipient or guardian before each immunization. The action is required by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.
    Question the vaccine recipient or guardian about reactions to previous vaccines.
    Complete a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) report form if adverse events have been identified. The reporting of events is required by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The toll-free number for VAERS is 1—800—822—7967. Also, report an adverse event to the manufacturer of the specific agent administered. Depending on the adverse reaction, a subsequent dose may be contraindicated.
    According to U.S. federal laws, the healthcare provider must record in the patient's permanent record: the manufacturer, lot number, date of administration, and the name and address of the person administering the vaccine.
    Instruct patients to avoid contact with the following groups of people for up to 6 weeks after receiving Varivax: immunocompromised individuals, pregnant women without documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection, newborn infants of mothers without documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection, and all newborn infants born at < 28 weeks gestation regardless of maternal varicella immunity.

    Injectable Administration

    Visually inspect parenteral products for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever solution and container permit. When reconstituted, Varivax is a clear, colorless to pale yellow liquid. Reconstituted Zostavax is semi-hazy to translucent and off-white to pale yellow. Discard if it appears otherwise.

    Subcutaneous Administration

    NOTE: For reconstitution and administration of the vaccine, use a sterile syringe free of preservatives, antiseptics, and detergents, as these substances may inactivate the vaccine virus.
     
    Reconstitution of Varivax:
    Use only the Merck sterile diluent supplied with Varivax, MMR II, or the component vaccines of MMR II. These diluents are free from preservatives or other agents that might inactivate the vaccine.
    Withdraw the total volume of diluent supplied with Varivax. Using aseptic technique, inject the diluent into the vial of lyophilized vaccine and gently agitate to mix thoroughly. Withdraw the entire contents of vial into a sterile syringe; change the needle. The total volume will be roughly 0.5 mL.
    Administer reconstituted vaccine immediately after reconstitution to minimize loss of potency.
    Storage of reconstituted vaccine: Discard the reconstituted vaccine if not used within 30 minutes. Do not freeze reconstituted vaccine.
     
    Reconstitution of Zostavax:
    Use only the diluent supplied with the vaccine. The manufacturer provided diluent is free from preservatives or other agents that might inactivate the vaccine.
    Withdraw the total volume of diluent supplied with Zostavax. Using aseptic technique, slowly inject the diluent (to avoid excessive foaming) into the vial of lyophilized vaccine and gently agitate to mix thoroughly. Withdraw the entire contents of vial into a sterile syringe. The total volume will be roughly 0.65 mL.
    Do not mix with any other vaccine.
    Administer reconstituted vaccine immediately after reconstitution to minimize loss of potency.
    Storage of reconstituted vaccine: Discard the reconstituted vaccine if not used within 30 minutes. Do not freeze reconstituted vaccine.
     
    Subcutaneous (SC) injection:
    Prior to administration, clean skin over the injection site with a suitable cleansing agent. The preferred injection site is the deltoid region of the upper arm or anterolateral thigh. Do not inject into an area that has been or will be used for another injection.
    Using a sterile syringe, remove the entire contents of the reconstituted solution from the vial.
    Administer the vaccine by injecting the needle subcutaneously at a 45-degree angle.

    STORAGE

    Varivax:
    - Discard reconstituted product if not used within 30 minutes
    - Protect from light
    - Store diluent separately at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees F) or in the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees F)
    - Store unreconstituted vaccine frozen at temperature between -58 to 5 degrees F
    - Unreconstituted product may be stored at refrigerator temperature (36-46 degrees F) for up to 72 continuous hours prior to reconstitution
    Zostavax:
    - Discard reconstituted product if not used within 30 minutes
    - Discard vaccine if stored between 36 to 46 degrees F and not used within 72 hours of removal from 5 degrees F storage
    - Do not freeze reconstituted product
    - Product may be stored at refrigerator temperature (36 to 46 degrees F) for up to 72 continuous hours prior to reconstitution
    - Protect from light
    - Store diluent separately at room temperature (68 to 77 degrees F) or in the refrigerator (36 to 46 degrees F)
    - Store unreconstituted vaccine frozen at temperature between -58 to 5 degrees F

    CONTRAINDICATIONS / PRECAUTIONS

    Gelatin hypersensitivity, neomycin hypersensitivity

    Varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live is preservative-free, but it does contain trace amounts of neomycin from the manufacturing process and is contraindicated for use in anyone with a history of immediate-type neomycin hypersensitivity (e.g., anaphylactoid reactions). Neomycin allergy commonly manifests as a contact dermatitis, which is not a contraindication to receiving this vaccine. Patients with a history of hypersensitivity to any component of the vaccine, including gelatin hypersensitivity, should also not receive the vaccine. With any biologic product, the prescriber or health care professional should take precautions to prevent allergic reactions. The health care professional should have immediate availability of epinephrine (1:1000) injection and other agents used in the treatment of severe anaphylaxis in the event of a serious allergic reaction. Prior to the administration of the vaccine, the health care personnel should inform the parent, guardian, or responsible adult of the benefits and risks to the patient. This should include the provision of the varicella virus vaccine live information statement from the manufacturer. The responsible adult should report any adverse reaction following vaccine administration to the health care provider. The US Department of Health and Human Services has established a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to accept all reports of suspected adverse events after the administration of any vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to, the reporting of events required by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. The toll-free number for VAERS is 800—822—7967.

    Intramuscular administration, intravenous administration

    Intramuscular administration or intravenous administration of varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live is not recommended. The vaccine is for subcutaneous administration only. Current evidence indicates that inadvertent intramuscular administration of Varivax does not increase side effects and produces adequate short-term immune responses; revaccination is not recommended. The duration of immunity following inadvertent intramuscular administration is less clear.

    Fever, respiratory infection, tuberculosis

    Any febrile illness such as a respiratory infection (including active, untreated tuberculosis) or other active infection associated with a fever is a contraindication for Varivax. Also, postpone administration of Zostavax in patients who have a moderate to severe, acute illness (including untreated tuberculosis). Vaccinate patients with moderate or severe acute illness as soon as the acute illness has improved. The vaccine can be administered to patients who have mild acute illnesses such as diarrhea or mild upper respiratory tract infection with or without fever. The decision to delay vaccination depends on the severity of symptoms and the etiology of the disease.

    Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), agammaglobulinemia, bone marrow suppression, chemotherapy, corticosteroid therapy, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, hypogammaglobulinemia, IgA deficiency, immunosuppression, leukemia, lymphoma, neoplastic disease, radiation therapy, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)

    Recommendations and precautions for patients with immunosuppression are complex, but the varicella virus vaccine live is contraindicated in any person with a primary immunodeficiency state (i.e., severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), IgA deficiency, hypogammaglobulinemia, agammaglobulinemia, or dysgammaglobulinemia) or an acquired immunodeficiency state. A family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency is also a contraindication for varicella virus vaccine live unless the immune competence of the potential vaccine recipient is demonstrated. Furthermore, immunocompromised patients should avoid contact with anyone who received the varicella virus vaccine live within the past 6 weeks as vaccine recipients could spread the virus to others. Some children with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may be vaccinated with varicella virus vaccine live. In a study of HIV-infected children 1—8 years of age with a range of CD4 counts of 875—2132 cells/mm3, about half of children had evidence of varicella-zoster virus immunity 1 year after receiving 2 vaccine doses administered 3 months apart. Of 18 vaccine recipients who had no evidence of varicella-zoster virus-specific immunity at 1 year, 7 developed detectable antibody after a third vaccine dose. Vaccination should be considered for HIV-infected children with age specific CD4 percentages >= 15%; weigh risks versus benefits. No studies have been performed to evaluate the vaccine in HIV-infected adults and adolescents, but varicella vaccination may be considered in varicella-zoster virus-seronegative adults and adolescents with a CD4 count >= 200 cells/mm3. Routine serologic testing to determine the varicella-zoster status in HIV-infected adults and adolescents is not recommended. If vaccination results in disease due to vaccine virus, therapy with acyclovir may be appropriate. Patients infected with HIV who have met diagnostic criteria of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) should not receive the vaccine; the vaccine is contraindicated for patients with HIV infection and a CD4 count < 200 cells/mm3. Varicella virus vaccine live should also not be administered to those with cellular immune deficiency or those patients on immunosuppressive therapy such as high-dose corticosteroid therapy. Vaccination with live attenuated varicella vaccine can result in a more extensive vaccine-associated rash or disseminated disease in these patients. However, corticosteroid therapy usually is not a contraindication to administering live-virus vaccines when administration is short-term (< 2 weeks); a low-to-moderate dose (< 2 mg/kg of body weight or 20 mg/day of prednisone or equivalent for persons who weigh > 10 kg when administered for < 2 weeks); long-term, alternate-day treatment with short-acting preparations; maintenance physiologic doses (replacement therapy); or when administered topically (skin, eyes), inhaled, or by local injection. Healthcare providers should wait at least 1 month after discontinuation of high-dose corticosteroid therapy given for more than 2 weeks before administering varicella virus vaccine. The vaccine is also contraindicated in patients with blood dyscrasias or any neoplastic disease that causes bone marrow suppression or affects the lymphatic system such as leukemia or lymphoma, including patients currently receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Patients with leukemia, lymphoma, or other malignancies whose disease is in remission and whose chemotherapy or radiation therapy has been terminated for at least 3 months can receive live-virus vaccines.
     

    Pregnancy

    Varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live is contraindicated for use during pregnancy. No adequate and well-controlled studies have been undertaken, and it is not known if the vaccine can cause fetal harm or affect reproductive capacity. Although no congenital abnormalities were identified in infants born to 928 women inadvertent exposed to a varicella containing vaccine during pregnancy or within 3 months of conception, naturally occurring varicella zoster virus infection is known to sometimes cause fetal harm. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends that varicella virus vaccine live not be administered during pregnancy or within the three months before becoming pregnant. Also, pregnant women without a documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection should avoid contact with anyone who received the varicella virus vaccine live within the past 6 weeks. Vaccine recipients could spread the virus to others. Females of childbearing potential should be counseled on the recommendation for the use of adequate contraception for 3 months following each dose of varicella virus vaccine live. The CDC recommends avoidance of vaccination of women who are pregnant or might become pregnant within 4 weeks of receiving the vaccine, assessment of pregnant women for evidence of varicella immunity, and administration of dose 1 of the varicella vaccine upon completion or termination of pregnancy and before discharge from the health-care facility to women who do not have evidence of immunity; administer dose number two 4—8 weeks after dose one. NOTE: Vaccine recipients should not be around susceptible, high-risk people for 6 weeks. High-risk, susceptible people include all newborns born at < 28 weeks gestation regardless of maternal varicella immunity and newborns of mothers without a documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection. Vaccinees and health care providers are encouraged to report any exposure to the vaccine during pregnancy or within 3 months of conception by calling 877—888—4231 or 800—822—7967, or by visiting the VAERS website.

    Breast-feeding

    The manufacturer advises caution when administering the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to lactating women; however according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), live virus vaccines do not adversely affect the safety of breast-feeding for mothers or their nursing infants. Health care providers are advised that, although attenuated, the potential of transmitting live viruses to the infant through breast milk exists. Definitive data regarding excretion of the varicella vaccine virus into breast milk are not available; however, one small study found no evidence of the virus in 217 post-vaccination breast milk samples. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition. If a breast-feeding infant experiences an adverse effect related to a maternally administered drug, health care providers are encouraged to report the adverse effect to the FDA.

    Children, infants, neonates

    Varivax is indicated for use in pediatric patients >= 1 year of age. At this time, no clinical data are available on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in neonates and infants < 12 months of age; vaccination of infants is not recommended. Further, all newborns born at < 28 weeks gestation regardless of maternal varicella immunity and newborns of mothers without a documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection should avoid contact with anyone who received the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live within the past 6 weeks. Vaccine recipients could spread the virus to others. Zostavax is not indicated for the prevention of primary varicella virus infection (chickenpox), and is not recommended for use in adults less than 50 years of age, adolescents, children, infants, or neonates. If the Zostavax is accidentally administered to a child who needs the Varivax, the level of protection against varicella would probably be at least the same. Each dose of the Zostavax has >= 19,400 plaque forming units (PFU), and the Varivax has >= 1350 PFU per dose. Further, early clinical trials for prevention of varicella were conducted in susceptible children using a formulation of live-attenuated Oka/Merck strain varicella zoster virus at doses of 17,430 PFU, which was well-tolerated and efficacious. Thus, count the erroneous dose of Zostavax as a single valid dose of Varivax; additional doses of the Varivax may be required.

    ADVERSE REACTIONS

    Severe

    seizures / Delayed / 0-1.0
    Guillain-Barre syndrome / Delayed / Incidence not known
    myelitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    aseptic meningitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    stroke / Early / Incidence not known
    anaphylactoid reactions / Rapid / Incidence not known
    anaphylactic shock / Rapid / Incidence not known
    erythema multiforme / Delayed / Incidence not known
    angioedema / Rapid / Incidence not known
    Stevens-Johnson syndrome / Delayed / Incidence not known
    aplastic anemia / Delayed / Incidence not known

    Moderate

    pneumonitis / Delayed / 0-1.0
    lymphadenopathy / Delayed / 1.0
    constipation / Delayed / 1.0
    edema / Delayed / Incidence not known
    erythema / Early / Incidence not known
    hematoma / Early / Incidence not known
    ataxia / Delayed / Incidence not known
    thrombocytopenia / Delayed / Incidence not known

    Mild

    injection site reaction / Rapid / 19.3-63.6
    fever / Early / 1.8-14.7
    headache / Early / 1.0-9.4
    vesicular rash / Delayed / 0.9-5.5
    influenza / Delayed / 1.7-1.7
    rhinitis / Early / 1.4-1.4
    asthenia / Delayed / 1.0-1.0
    infection / Delayed / 1.0
    cough / Delayed / 1.0
    chills / Rapid / 1.0
    malaise / Early / 1.0
    myalgia / Early / 1.0
    nausea / Early / 1.0
    anorexia / Delayed / 1.0
    fatigue / Early / 1.0
    arthralgia / Delayed / 1.0
    vomiting / Early / 1.0
    abdominal pain / Early / 1.0
    insomnia / Early / 1.0
    irritability / Delayed / 1.0
    diarrhea / Early / 1.0
    pruritus / Rapid / 1.0
    urticaria / Rapid / 1.0
    pharyngitis / Delayed / Incidence not known
    paresthesias / Delayed / Incidence not known
    rash (unspecified) / Early / Incidence not known
    purpura / Delayed / Incidence not known

    DRUG INTERACTIONS

    Abatacept: (Severe) If possible, administer all needed vaccines before abatacept initiation. Live vaccines should not be given concurrently with abatacept or within 3 months of its discontinuation. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased and adjusted doses or boosters that are more frequent may be required. The immune response to an inactive vaccine may still be suboptimal. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Abciximab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Acetaminophen; Aspirin, ASA; Caffeine: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Magnesium Salicylate; Phenyltoloxamine: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Phenyltoloxamine; Salicylamide: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Acyclovir: (Major) If possible, discontinue acyclovir at least 24 hours before administration of the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Also, do not administer acyclovir for at least 14 days after vaccination. Concurrent administration of any of the varicella-zoster virus vaccines (Zostavax, Varivax, ProQuad) with antiviral medications known to be effective against varicella zoster virus has not been evaluated. Therefore, when possible, a washout period between the use of the antiviral medication and the vaccines is recommended. Acyclovir has a relatively short serum half-life and is quickly cleared from the body. Refer to the most recent Center for Disease control guidance if concurrent use is necessary.
    Adalimumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Aldesleukin, IL-2: (Severe) Aldesleukin, IL-2 is associated with impaired neutrophil function. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Alefacept: (Severe) The safety and efficacy of administering attenuated virus vaccines or live vaccines to patients receiving alefacept have not been studied. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Alemtuzumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Alkylating agents: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Alpha interferons: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient, including those receiving Interferon therapy. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Altretamine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Aminosalicylate sodium, Aminosalicylic acid: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Anakinra: (Severe) No data are available on the effects of vaccination with live virus vaccines in patients receiving anakinra. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Anthracyclines: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Antimetabolites: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Antithymocyte Globulin: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Antitumor antibiotics: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Arsenic Trioxide: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Aspirin, ASA: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Butalbital; Caffeine: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Butalbital; Caffeine; Codeine: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Caffeine; Dihydrocodeine: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Carisoprodol: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Carisoprodol; Codeine: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Dipyridamole: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Omeprazole: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Oxycodone: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Aspirin, ASA; Pravastatin: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Atropine; Benzoic Acid; Hyoscyamine; Methenamine; Methylene Blue; Phenyl Salicylate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Azathioprine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Basiliximab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Belatacept: (Severe) Avoid the use of live vaccines such as the intranasal influenza vaccine; measles/mumps/rubella vaccines, MMR; Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Live, BCG; yellow fever vaccine; oral polio vaccine; varicella virus vaccine live; and TY21a typhoid vaccine during belatacept treatment. Further, inactive vaccine receipt may not illicit an acceptable response; belatacept may blunt the effectiveness of some immunizations. Consult the most current CDC guidances for vaccination recommendations.
    Belimumab: (Major) Live vaccines should not be given for 30 days before or concurrently with belimumab, as clinical safety has not been established. Because of its mechanism of action, belimumab may interfere with the response to immunizations. No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection from persons receiving live vaccines. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Benzoic Acid; Hyoscyamine; Methenamine; Methylene Blue; Phenyl Salicylate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Bevacizumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Bexarotene: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Bismuth Subsalicylate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Bismuth Subsalicylate; Metronidazole; Tetracycline: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Bortezomib: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Brodalumab: (Major) Avoid administration of live vaccines to brodalumab recipients. Before initiation of brodalumab therapy, consider completion of all age appropriate vaccinations per current immunization guidelines. No data are available on the response to live or inactive vaccines in patients receiving brodalumab therapy.
    Busulfan: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Canakinumab: (Major) Do not administer live vaccines to a patient who is receiving canakinumab; other vaccination schedules should be complete as recommended prior to initiating canakinumab treatment. No data are available regarding the risk of secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines, and the efficacy and safety of live vaccines have not been established in patients receiving canakinumab. The immune response to vaccines or toxoids may be decreased, as canakinumab may interfere with normal immune response to new antigens. Limited data are available on the effectiveness of vaccination with inactivated antigens in patients receiving canakinumab. Because interleukin-1 blockade may interfere with immune response to infections, it is recommended that prior to initiation of therapy with canakinumab, adult and pediatric patients receive any recommended vaccination (including pneumococcal vaccine and inactivated influenza vaccines).
    Carmustine, BCNU: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Certolizumab pegol: (Severe) Do not administer live vaccines concurrently with certolizumab. No data are available on the response to vaccinations or to the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving certolizumab. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Chlorambucil: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Choline Salicylate; Magnesium Salicylate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Clofarabine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system
    Corticosteroids: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system. Children who are receiving high doses of systemic corticosteroids (i.e., greater than or equal to 2 mg/kg prednisone orally per day) for 2 weeks or more may be vaccinated after steroid therapy has been discontinued for at least 3 months in accordance with general recommendations for the use of live-virus vaccines. The CDC has stated that discontinuation of steroids for 1 month prior to varicella virus vaccine live administration may be sufficient. Budesonide may affect the immunogenicity of live vaccines. An open-label study examined the immune responsiveness to varicella vaccine in 243 pediatric asthma patients who were treated with budesonide inhalation suspension 0.251 mg daily (n = 151) or non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (n = 92). The percentage of patients developing a seroprotective antibody titer of at least 5 (gpELISA value) in response to the vaccination was slightly lower in patients treated with budesonide compared to patients treated with non-corticosteroid asthma therapy (85% vs. 90%). Even though no patient treated with budesonide inhalation suspension developed chicken pox because of vaccination, live-virus vaccines should not be given to individuals who are considered to be immunocompromised until more information is available.
    Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab, Ovine: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Cyclophosphamide: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Cyclosporine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Cytomegalovirus Immune Globulin, CMV-IGIV: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Dacarbazine, DTIC: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Dasatinib: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Denileukin Diftitox: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Digoxin Immune Fab: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Dupilumab: (Major) Avoid administration of live vaccines to dupilumab recipients. Before initiation of dupilumab therapy, consider completion of all age appropriate vaccinations per current immunization guidelines. No data are available on the response to live vaccines in patients receiving dupilumab therapy.
    Efalizumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Estramustine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Etanercept: (Severe) Etanercept has not been found to act as a general immunosuppressant; however, the patient's underlying disease state may result in the immunosuppression. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune syste
    Famciclovir: (Major) If possible, discontinue famciclovir at least 24 hours before administration of the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Also, do not administer famciclovir for at least 14 days after vaccination. Concurrent administration of any of the varicella-zoster virus vaccines (Zostavax, Varivax, ProQuad) with antiviral medications known to be effective against varicella zoster virus has not been evaluated. Therefore, when possible, a washout period between the use of the antiviral medication and the vaccines is recommended. Refer to the most recent Center for Disease control guidance if concurrent use is necessary.
    Fingolimod: (Severe) Do not administer live vaccines to a patient who is receiving fingolimod or has discontinued the drug in the last 2 months because of the risk of infection. No data are available regarding the risk of secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines, and the efficacy and safety of live vaccines have not been established in patients receiving fingolimod. Before fingolimod initiation, test patients without a history of chickenpox or without vaccination against varicella zoster virus (VZV) for antibodies to VZV. Consider VZV vaccination of antibody-negative patients before fingolimod initiation, and do not start fingolimod for 1 month to allow the full effect of vaccination to occur. In addition to the concerns with live virus vaccines, the immune response to inactive vaccines or toxoids may be decreased, as fingolimod may interfere with normal immune response to new antigens. No data are available on the effectiveness of vaccination with inactivated antigens in patients receiving fingolimod. Vaccination may be less effective during and for up to 2 months after fingolimod discontinuation. For example, as compared with the response of placebo recipients, the capacity to mount a skin delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction to Candida and to tetanus toxoid was decreased by approximately 30% among fingolimod 0.5 mg daily recipients. Further, in healthy patients, antigen-specific IgM titers were decreased by 25% in response to pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV-23) immunization as compared with the response by placebo recipients. Similarly, IgG titers were decreased by 50% among fingolimod recipients as compared with placebo.
    Folate analogs: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Gefitinib: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Golimumab: (Severe) Do not administer live vaccines to golimumab recipients. No data are available on the response to live vaccination or on the risk of infection or infection transmission after the administration. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Guselkumab: (Major) Avoid use of live vaccines in patients being treated with guselkumab; no data are available regarding the risk of secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving guselkumab. In addition, guselkumab may decrease the vaccine-induced immune response. Before initiation of guselkumab therapy, consider completion of all age appropriate vaccinations per current immunization guidelines.
    Hepatitis B Immune Globulin, HBIG: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Hyaluronidase, Recombinant; Immune Globulin: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. There should be an interval of at least 5 months following administration of immune globulin, including varicella-zoster immune globulin, VZIG, before varicella vaccination. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Hydroxychloroquine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Hyoscyamine; Methenamine; Methylene Blue; Phenyl Salicylate; Sodium Biphosphate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Ibritumomab Tiuxetan: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Ifosfamide: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Imatinib: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Immune Globulin IV, IVIG, IGIV: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. There should be an interval of at least 5 months following administration of immune globulin, including varicella-zoster immune globulin, VZIG, before varicella vaccination. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Infliximab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Ixabepilone: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Ixekizumab: (Major) Do not administer live vaccines to ixekizumab recipients. Before initiation of ixekizumab therapy, consider completion of all age appropriate vaccinations per current immunization guidelines. No data are available on the response to live or inactive vaccines in patients receiving Ixekizumab therapy.
    Lapatinib: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Leflunomide: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Lenalidomide: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Lomustine, CCNU: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Magnesium Salicylate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Mechlorethamine, Nitrogen Mustard: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Mitotane: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Monoclonal antibodies: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Muromonab-CD3: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Natalizumab: (Severe) The immune response to vaccines or toxoids may be decreased in patients who receive natalizumab; however, no data are available. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Natural Antineoplastics: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Nelarabine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Nilotinib: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Ocrelizumab: (Major) Due to the lack of clinical information related to the safety and efficacy of vaccine administration during ocrelizumab use, concomitant vaccination with live vaccines or live-attenuated vaccines is not recommended. Withhold vaccination with live or live-attenuated virus vaccines to patients during ocrelizumab treatment and until B-cell repletion. Administer all vaccinations according to current vaccination guidelines and CDC recommendations at least 6 weeks before starting treatment with ocrelizumab. The ability to generate a primary or anamnestic humoral response to any vaccine following ocrelizumab has not been studied. ACIP recommends that patients receiving any vaccination during immunosuppressive therapy or in the 2 weeks prior to starting therapy should be considered unimmunized and should be revaccinated a minimum of 3 months after discontinuation of therapy. Passive immunoprophylaxis with immune globulins may be indicated for immunocompromised persons instead of, or in addition to, vaccination.
    Ofatumumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Palivizumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Procarbazine: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Purine analogs: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Rabies Immune Globulin, human RIG: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Respiratory Syncytial Virus Immune Globulin, RSV-IGIV: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Rh0 [D] Immune Globulin: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Rilonacept: (Severe) Do not administer live vaccines to a patient who is receiving rilonacept. No data are available regarding the use of live vaccines during rilonacept treatment. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Rituximab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Rituximab; Hyaluronidase: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Salicylates: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Salsalate: (Major) No adverse events associated with the use of salicylates after varicella vaccination have been reported. However, the manufacturer of varicella virus vaccine live recommends the avoidance of salicylates or aspirin, ASA use for 6 weeks after vaccination. Reye's syndrome, which exclusively affects children under 15 years old, has been associated with aspirin use following active varicella infection. Vaccination with close clinical monitoring is recommended for children who require therapeutic aspirin, ASA therapy; according to the CDC the use of attenuated, live varicella virus vaccine is thought to present less risk than natural varicella disease to such children.
    Sarilumab: (Major) Avoid concurrent use of live vaccines during treatment with sarilumab due to potentially increased risk of infections; clinical safety of live vaccines during sarilumab treatment has not been established. No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection from persons receiving live vaccines to patients receiving sarilumab. The interval between live vaccinations and initiation of sarilumab therapy should be in accordance with current vaccination guidelines regarding immunosuppressive agents.
    Secukinumab: (Major) Do not administer live vaccines to secukinumab recipients; no data are available regarding the risk of secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving secukinumab. Before initiation of secukinumab therapy, consider completion of all age appropriate vaccinations per current immunization guidelines. Secukinumab recipients may receive inactivated vaccines, but the immune response to vaccines or toxoids may be decreased. Similar antibody responses were seen when healthy individuals who received a single 150 mg dose of secukinumab 2 weeks before vaccination with a non-US approved group C meningococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine and a non-US approved inactivated seasonal influenza vaccine. The efficacy of meningococcal and influenza vaccines has not been evaluated in patients undergoing treatment with secukinumab.
    Sorafenib: (Major) Concomitant administration of immunosuppressives such as antineoplastic agents can decrease an individual's immunological response to live vaccines or can result in more extensive vaccine-associated adverse events. Refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of immunosuppressed patients.
    Streptozocin: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Sunitinib: (Major) Concomitant administration of immunosuppressives such as antineoplastic agents can decrease an individual's immunological response to live vaccines or can result in more extensive vaccine-associated adverse events. Refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of immunosuppressed patients.
    Taxanes: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Temozolomide: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Temsirolimus: (Severe) The use of live vaccines should be avoided during treatment with temsirolimus. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Teriflunomide: (Major) Due to the lack of clinical information related to the safety and efficacy of vaccine administration during teriflunomide use, concomitant vaccination with live vaccines is not recommended. The long half-life of teriflunomide should be considered when contemplating administration of a live vaccine after stopping the medication if the teriflunomide drug elimination procedure has not been performed.
    Tetanus Immune Globulin, Human, TIG: (Major) Do not give immune globulin including varicella zoster immune globulin concurrently with the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Because of the potential inhibition of the immune response to vaccination by passively transferred antibodies, it is advisable not to give varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to any patient who has received blood (except washed red blood cells), plasma transfusions, or immunoglobulins within the previous 5 months. After varicella vaccination, the CDC recommends that immune globulin products should not be given for 3 weeks, unless the benefit outweighs the risk; the manufacturer recommends waiting 2 months before administering immunoglobulins. In the case that IgG products are administered within 3 weeks of vaccination, the vaccinee should be either revaccinated at 5 months or tested for immunity and revaccinated if seronegative. Consult current CDC guidelines for recommendations.
    Thalidomide: (Severe) No data are available on the response to vaccination with live vaccines or on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines in patients receiving thalidomide. Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Thiotepa: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Tocilizumab: (Major) Avoid concurrent use of live vaccines during treatment with tocilizumab due to potentially increased risk of infections; clinical safety of live vaccines during tocilizumab treatment has not been established. No data are available on the secondary transmission of infection from persons receiving live vaccines to patients receiving tocilizumab. The interval between live vaccinations and initiation of tocilizumab therapy should be in accordance with current vaccination guidelines regarding immunosuppressive agents.
    Tofacitinib: (Major) Do not administer live virus vaccines to patients taking tofacitinib, as no data are available on the secondary transmission of infection by live vaccines. Also, no data are available on the response to vaccination with any vaccine during tofacitinib receipt. Before tofacitinib initiation, review the vaccination status of patients, and update immunizations in agreement with current immunization guidelines.
    Tositumomab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Trastuzumab: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Tretinoin, ATRA: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Ustekinumab: (Severe) If possible, administer all recommended vaccines before ustekinumab initiation. Ustekinumab recipients may receive inactive vaccines, but the elicited immune response may be insufficient to prevent disease. Do not administer live vaccines to a ustekinumab recipient. Furthermore, do not administer BCG live vaccines for either 1 year before or 1 year after ustekinumab receipt, due to the infectious risk for Mycobacteria. No data are available on the response to live vaccination or on the risk of infection or infection transmission after the administration of other live vaccines to ustekinumab recipients. Cautious administration of ustekinumab to household contacts of ustekinumab recipients may be warranted due to the potential risk for shedding from the household contact and transmission to the patient. Practitioners should also refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.
    Valacyclovir: (Major) If possible, discontinue valacyclovir at least 24 hours before administration of the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live. Also, do not administer valacyclovir for at least 14 days after vaccination. Concurrent administration of any of the varicella-zoster virus vaccines (Zostavax, Varivax, ProQuad) with antiviral medications known to be effective against varicella zoster virus has not been evaluated. Therefore, when possible, a washout period between the use of the antiviral medication and the vaccines is recommended. Valacyclovir has a relatively short serum half-life and is quickly cleared from the body. Refer to the most recent Center for Disease control guidance if concurrent use is necessary.
    Vorinostat: (Severe) Live virus vaccines should generally not be administered to an immunosuppressed patient. Live virus vaccines may induce the illness they are intended to prevent and are generally contraindicated for use during immunosuppressive treatment. The immune response of the immunocompromised patient to vaccines may be decreased, even despite alternate vaccination schedules or more frequent booster doses. If immunization is necessary, choose an alternative to live vaccination, or, consider a delay or change in the immunization schedule. Practitioners should refer to the most recent CDC guidelines regarding vaccination of patients who are receiving drugs that adversely affect the immune system.

    PREGNANCY AND LACTATION

    Pregnancy

    Varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live is contraindicated for use during pregnancy. No adequate and well-controlled studies have been undertaken, and it is not known if the vaccine can cause fetal harm or affect reproductive capacity. Although no congenital abnormalities were identified in infants born to 928 women inadvertent exposed to a varicella containing vaccine during pregnancy or within 3 months of conception, naturally occurring varicella zoster virus infection is known to sometimes cause fetal harm. Therefore, the manufacturer recommends that varicella virus vaccine live not be administered during pregnancy or within the three months before becoming pregnant. Also, pregnant women without a documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection should avoid contact with anyone who received the varicella virus vaccine live within the past 6 weeks. Vaccine recipients could spread the virus to others. Females of childbearing potential should be counseled on the recommendation for the use of adequate contraception for 3 months following each dose of varicella virus vaccine live. The CDC recommends avoidance of vaccination of women who are pregnant or might become pregnant within 4 weeks of receiving the vaccine, assessment of pregnant women for evidence of varicella immunity, and administration of dose 1 of the varicella vaccine upon completion or termination of pregnancy and before discharge from the health-care facility to women who do not have evidence of immunity; administer dose number two 4—8 weeks after dose one. NOTE: Vaccine recipients should not be around susceptible, high-risk people for 6 weeks. High-risk, susceptible people include all newborns born at < 28 weeks gestation regardless of maternal varicella immunity and newborns of mothers without a documented history of chickenpox or laboratory evidence of prior infection. Vaccinees and health care providers are encouraged to report any exposure to the vaccine during pregnancy or within 3 months of conception by calling 877—888—4231 or 800—822—7967, or by visiting the VAERS website.

    The manufacturer advises caution when administering the varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live to lactating women; however according to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), live virus vaccines do not adversely affect the safety of breast-feeding for mothers or their nursing infants. Health care providers are advised that, although attenuated, the potential of transmitting live viruses to the infant through breast milk exists. Definitive data regarding excretion of the varicella vaccine virus into breast milk are not available; however, one small study found no evidence of the virus in 217 post-vaccination breast milk samples. Consider the benefits of breast-feeding, the risk of potential infant drug exposure, and the risk of an untreated or inadequately treated condition. If a breast-feeding infant experiences an adverse effect related to a maternally administered drug, health care providers are encouraged to report the adverse effect to the FDA.

    MECHANISM OF ACTION

    Vaccination with varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live produces a detectable IgG antibody humoral immune response in a high proportion of individuals and is well tolerated. Vaccinated patients also have a cell-mediated immune response, consisting of an expression of varicella-zoster specific activation of both CD4+ T-helper and CD8+ T-lymphocytes.
     
    Varivax: The significance of humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity in providing protection against chickenpox is unknown, but patients who do not seroconvert after vaccination still receive some protection from infection via cellular immunity. Vaccination appears to prevent severe disease even in patients who do not seroconvert. The severity of breakthrough chickenpox does not appear to be affected by the length of time since immunization; cases seen 8 years post-varicella virus vaccination still remain mild. Vaccine post-market surveillance suggests there may be a lower incidence rate of herpes zoster after varicella-zoster virus vaccination, live than occurs after natural varicella infection, but longer epidemiologic surveillance is needed to support these findings.
     
    Zostavax: The risk of developing herpes zoster appears to be related to a decline in varicella-zoster virus (VZV)-specific immunity. Boosting the VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity is thought to be the mechanism by which varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live protects against herpes zoster and its complications. Overall, vaccine recipients had fewer cases of herpes zoster (5.4 cases per 1000 person-years) than placebo recipients (11.1 cases per 1000 person-years). The number of cases per 1000 person years for the age groups 60—69, 70—79, and greater than 80 years was fairly similar (10.8—12.2). In contrast, the vaccine provided greater protection against herpes zoster development in younger versus older adults. For example, there were 3.9 cases per 1000 person-years among 60—69 year olds, 6.7 cases per 1000 person-years among 70—79 year olds, and 9.9 cases per 1000 person-years among patients at least 80 years of age. Although the vaccine prevented more cases of herpes zoster in younger adults, the likelihood of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), defined as at least 3 out of 10 pain severity occurring or persisting at least 90 days after rash onset, was lower among older adults who developed herpes zoster. For example, 6.6% of vaccine recipients with herpes zoster had PHN, and 6.9% of placebo recipients had the event among 60—69 year-olds. The respective numbers for 70—79 year-olds are 7.7% and 17.2%, and among patients at least 80 years of age, 18.9% of vaccine recipients and 25.5% of placebo recipients had PHN. The median duration of clinically significant pain was 20 days in vaccine recipients and 22 days in placebo recipients with confirmed cases of herpes zoster. Further, the overall percentages of herpes zoster cases with PHN were lower among vaccine recipients (8.6%) as compared with placebo recipients (12.5%).

    PHARMACOKINETICS

    The varicella-zoster virus vaccine, live is administered subcutaneously. 
    Varivax: A single dose administered to patients >= 13 years induced seroconversion in 75% vaccine recipients after 4 weeks. A second dose administered 4 weeks after the first dose increased the seroconversion rate to 99%. In another study, adults and adolescents were administered 2 vaccination 8 weeks apart. The seroconversion rates were 94% at 6 week after the first dose and 99% 6 weeks after the second. The duration of protection is unknown; however, IgG antibodies to varicella after vaccination persist at high levels for at least 10 years, and are boosted by exposure to natural varicella infection.
    Zostavax: Compared to placebo, the geometric mean titers of varicella-zoster virus antibody concentrations (measured 6 weeks after vaccination) were 1.7-fold (95% CI, 1.6—1.8) higher in vaccine recipients age >= 60 years, and 2.3-fold (95% CI, 2.2—2.4) higher in vaccine recipients age 50—59 years. The specific antibody concentration that correlates with protection from herpes zoster has not been established. In a clinical study, protection from herpes zoster was demonstrated through 4 years of follow-up. The need for revaccination has not been defined.