Immunization practices in children with renal disease: a report of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Study.
To determine the current immunization recommendations of practicing pediatric nephrologists, a questionnaire was sent to the members of the North American Pediatric Renal Transplant Cooperative Society. Sixty-two percent of the centers responded. The results of the survey suggest that although consensus for approaching immunization does exist, recommendations do vary from center to center. Virtually all centers recommend standard vaccines [DTP, oral poliovirus (OPV), hepatitis B (Hep B), and Haemophilus influenzae B (Hib)] for their renal insufficiency and dialysis patients. Despite the fact that they are not infectious, standard killed vaccines (DTP, Hep B, Hib) are recommended less frequently for transplanted patients (86%) than their renal insufficiency (98%) and dialysis (near 100%) counterparts. Additionally, OPV and measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), both live viral vaccines, are rarely recommended post transplant. Almost 90% of centers recommend the use of influenza vaccine, while only 60% of centers recommend pneumococcal vaccine for children with renal disease. Over 70% of centers recommend the newly licensed varicella vaccine for patients on dialysis and those with renal insufficiency. Between 5% and 12% of centers recommend live viral vaccines, including OPV, MMR, and varicella vaccine, for immunosuppressed patients post renal transplant.