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Vaccine Contraindications and Postponement

General Contraindications and Guidelines to Vaccines

Inactivated or killed vaccines are generally safe and the only absolute contraindication is a severe local or general reaction to a previous dose.

Live vaccines should not be given during pregnancy and in those who are on systemic steroid therapy or are immunosuppressed for any reason.

Live vaccines should either be given together (if possible at different sites) or after a 4 week gap.


Vaccines should not be given if the child has an acute febrile illness. They can, however, be given once the child is well again even if a course of antibiotics is still ongoing.

Premature infants, and those suffering from heart and lung diseases should be immunised according to the usual schedules. Premature infants should be immunized at the times recommended for full term babies, without correction for gestational age.

The following are not contraindications to vaccination, even though many people still believe they are:

  • previous history of infection 
  • stable neurological condition 
  • antibiotic therapy 
  • allergic history, such as allergy to egg proteins (except for influenza vaccine) 
  • breast feeding 
  • sibling of immune suppressed patient. 
  • contacts of pregnant women 
  • neonatal jaundice