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July 2006

Varicella Infection Caused by Oka Strain Vaccine in a Heart Transplant Recipient

Arch Dermatol. 2006;142(7):927-947. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.7.943

Immunization against the varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is an important strategy for preventing VZV infection in susceptible health care workers.1 However, the VZV vaccine is a live attenuated virus that has the potential to replicate and cause disease in vivo, particularly in immunocompromised hosts.2-4 Whenever live attenuated vaccines are administered, care should be taken to ensure that recipients are not immunocompromised. We describe a heart transplant recipient who developed cutaneous Oka strain vaccine lesions requiring hospitalization after routine hospital preemployment immunization status screening.