Coronavirus disease 2019 vaccination in transplant recipients

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2021 Aug 1;34(4):275-287. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000739.


Purpose of review: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination is considered one of the most promising and socioeconomically sustainable strategy to help control the pandemic and several vaccines are currently being distributed in nationwide mass immunization campaigns. Very limited data are available on benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised patients and in particular in solid organ or hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients as they were excluded from phase III trials. This review summarizes current knowledge, international guidelines and controversies regarding COVID-19 vaccination in these vulnerable populations.

Recent findings: Various COVID-19 vaccine platforms showed good efficacy in phase III trials in the immunocompetent and there are data arising on the safety and immunogenicity of these vaccines in the immunocompromised population.

Summary: Transplant recipients could benefit significantly from COVID-19 vaccination, both through active immunization provided they elicit protective vaccine responses, and probably through cocooning by immunization of caregivers and healthcare personnel and thus reducing the risk of SARS-coronavirus-2 exposure. Although awaiting more data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines to inform potential adaptations of vaccine regimens, we strongly recommend prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination of solid and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients to decrease COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / etiology
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / adverse effects
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / classification
  • COVID-19 Vaccines / immunology*
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Disease Management
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunogenicity, Vaccine
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Organ Transplantation / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology*
  • Transplant Recipients*
  • Vaccination


  • COVID-19 Vaccines