Optimizing Varicella Immunization in Children and Youth with Solid Organ Transplants to Prevent Disease and Improve Long-term Health

Project Summary

In the past, live vaccines such as the live attenuated varicella vaccine (LAVV) were not given to solid organ transplants (SOT) recipients due to their immunocompromised status, thus leaving them at a much higher risk of a varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, commonly known as "Chicken Pox”. However, based on new evidence surrounding vaccination in SOT patients, the international pediatric transplant association have developed a new guideline to help safely provide live attenuated varicella vaccine (LAVV) to this population. Enhanced protection against VZV will have a direct impact on the long-term health of children/youth with SOT. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the implementation of this new guideline in hopes of increasing the number of SOT patients who are protected against VZV.

Project Status

Status: Active, data collection ongoing
Study Start Date: June 1, 2021
Study End Date: November 5, 2024

Study Enrollment Status: Closed
Start Date: July 5, 2021
End Date: January 23, 2023

Project Team

Principal Investigator

Manish Sadarangani


Dr. Tom Blydt-Hansen
Dr. Julie Bettinger
Dr. Hana Mitchell

Research Team Members

Aarthi Nirmal, Research Coordinator
Brittany Seligman, M&P Staff
Candice Wiedman, Research Assistant
Jennifer Mark, M&P Staff
Karen Simmons, M&P Staff
Ivor Chee, M&P Staff

Enrollment Eligibility Criteria

Part I: Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other HCP who provide care to children with SOT and may be involved in recommending and/or administering vaccinations at: BC Children’s Hospital, Stollery Children Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children, and IWK Health Centre or in the communities of Toronto and Edmonton.
Part II: Parents/caregivers of 1) children who have received a liver, kidney or heart transplant, 2) children who are actively followed by a clinical transplant team and 3) children who were screened for eligibility for LAVV according to their center's clinical pathway at:BC Children’s Hospital, Stollery Children Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children, or IWK Health Centre.
Part III: Children 1–19 years of age with a liver, kidney or heart transplant who have decided, in conjunction with their clinical team,to receive LAVV as part of clinical care. Potential participants must also have previously consented on to the 'HOPE SOT Research Registry' (H17-01140) in order to be eligible.


The enrolment for the Varicella study is now complete. For participation in ongoing studies or more information, please contact us at vecstudies@bcchr.ca.