Live virus vaccines in human immunodeficiency virus-infected children: A retrospective survey

M. McLaughlin, P. Thomas, I. Onorato, A. Rubinstein, J. Oleske, S. Nicholas, K. Krasinski, P. Guigli, W. Orenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Live virus vaccines can cause serious adverse reactions when administered to immunocompromised patients. Because children infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be immunosuppressed, immunization of these children with live virus vaccines is a potential problem. A retrospective survey was conducted by the New York City Department of Health, with consultation from the Centers for Disease Control, to evaluate the frequency of serious adverse events following receipt of live vaccines among children with HIV infection receiving pediatric care in New York City and New Jersey. Outpatient records of 319 children being cared for by 16 participating physicians were reviewed. Of the 319 charts, 221 (69%) contained vaccination histories. Perinatal transmission of HIV infection was suspected for 208 (94%) of the 221 cases and infection via transfusion for the remaining 13 (6%). Of the 221 for whom immunization histories were available, 180 (81%) had received at least one dose of live oral polio vaccine and 70 (32%) had received measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. There were 120 children for whom a temporal relationship between immunization and onset of symptoms of immunodeficiency could be seen; 46/120 had received at least one dose of oral polio vaccine and 23/45 had received measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine after onset of symptoms. Although follow-up of this population has been limited, there were no reports of serious adverse events such as typical or atypical measles, paralytic poliomyelitis, or aseptic meningitis in the month following vaccination. New York City Department of Health and New Jersey State Department of Health surveillance records for adverse vaccine events following immunization support these findings; no child with vaccine-associated illness was noted to have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or related illness for the period 1979 to 1986. No evidence was noted of serious adverse reactions following receipt of live virus vaccines in HIV-infected children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-233
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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