Vaccine-preventable Infections Common Among Kids With Transplants

by Ramya Rachamanti on  November 14, 2019 at 5:22 PM Child Health News
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Kids with liver transplants have lower vaccination rates, increasing the risk of sickness who already face significant health issues, according to the University of Colorado researchers.
Vaccine-preventable Infections Common Among Kids With Transplants
Vaccine-preventable Infections Common Among Kids With Transplants

The findings are discussed in a "Research Letter" included in JAMA and also call attention to data that CU School of Medicine faculty members published earlier this year in JAMA Pediatrics.

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"These children are at a much higher risk for infections, so to find that they have lower vaccination rates than the general population is extremely concerning and should prompt us to look for ways to improve their immunization rates before they need transplant surgery," said Amy Feldman, MD, MSCS, assistant professor of pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine and program director for the liver transplant fellowship at Children's Hospital Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

"What barriers are preventing transplant candidates from getting timely immunizations and what tools can we develop to overcome these barriers?"

During the first five years after transplant, 15.6 percent were hospitalized with a vaccine-preventable infection. That's a rate of up to 87 times higher than in the general pediatric populations.

In a subsequent one-year prospective study between 2017-2018 of 281 non acute-liver failure transplants performed at SPLIT centers across North America, the researchers found that only 55 percent of transplant recipients were up-to-date on seven core vaccines required in the National Immunization Survey standards, and less than 20 percent were up-to-date for all age-appropriate immunizations at the time of transplant. That compares to a general population rate of 70 percent with timely immunizations.

"Immunizations are a minimally invasive, cost-effective way to reduce the incidence of these infections," Feldman said.

Source: Eurekalert

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