Vaccination before or after anaesthesia or surgery
Recent or upcoming surgery is not a contraindication to vaccination. Vaccination is also not a contraindication to surgery.
This page was added on 09 June 2018.
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Administering vaccines before or after anaesthesia or surgery
There is no evidence of adverse outcomes related to anaesthesia and surgery in recently vaccinated children. However, the systemic effects of recent vaccination, such as fever and malaise, may be confused with similar symptoms that may arise in the post-operative period.
A person in a special risk group can receive vaccines as per the routine schedule, or electively during a procedure, if the appropriate vaccine delivery safety mechanisms are in place.1
If elective surgery and anaesthesia are to be postponed after vaccination, some guidelines recommend waiting for 1 week after receiving an inactive vaccine and for 3 weeks after receiving a live attenuated viral vaccine in children. Defer routine vaccines for 1 week after surgery.2
A person who receives any blood products during surgery will need to delay some vaccinations (see Table. Recommended intervals between immunoglobulins or blood products, and measles-mumps-rubella, measles-mumps-rubella-varicella or varicella vaccination).
- Siebert JN, Posfay-Barbe KM, Habre W, Siegrist CA. Influence of anesthesia on immune responses and its effect on vaccination in children: review of evidence. Paediatric Anaesthesia 2007;17:410-20. 2.
- Short JA, van der Walt JH, Zoanetti DC. Immunization and anesthesia – an international survey. Pediatric Anesthesia 2006;16:514-22.