Thursday, December 27, 2012

CML; Chicken Pox and Shingles


May an individual with CML receive the shingles vaccine? What about the chicken pox vaccine?

Using the most current infectious disease guidelines, Zostavax (shingles vaccine) may be given to CML patients who are stable and not experiencing any evidence of relapse or progression, and who do not have other immune suppressive issues such as recent requirements for high dose corticosteroids.
For Varivax (chicken pox vaccine), similar principles apply, though there is perhaps more of a need to consider administering Varivax if a patient has never had chicken pox, given the risks associated with a chicken pox infection.

May an individual with CML be around someone who has shingles, chicken pox, or has been vaccinated for either?

If a CML patient has never had prior chicken pox and has never had the chicken pox vaccine, then he or she should avoid contact with individuals with chicken pox or shingles. If the patient with CML had prior chicken pox or vaccination for chicken pox, then the concern is minimal as infection risk is dramatically lower.

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