November 01, 2011
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ACIP recommends updates to 2012 immunization schedules

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Shortly after members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend routinely administering the human papillomavirus to boys, they voted to add language to this effect into next year’s immunization schedule.

Iyabode Beysolow, MD, MPH, who serves on a work group that advises the ACIP about immunization schedule updates, said the schedules for 2012 had to be approved at the meeting earlier today, so they can be published in the February issues of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and Pediatrics.

One of the biggest changes to the schedule was the addition of the HPV vaccination recommendations. The panel voted 13-0, with one abstention, to make HPV vaccination with Gardasil (Merck) routine for boys aged 11 to 12 years. The panel then voted to extend routine HPV vaccination to males through age 21 years.

Another change from last year’s immunization schedules was the way they were footnoted, according to H. Cody Meissner, MD, who also serves on the working group. “The proposed changes to the footnotes reflect the increasing complexity of the schedules and the limited amount of space for footnotes,” Meissner said, adding that, in many instances, the footnotes will overlap between the immunization schedule for younger patients, the adolescent schedule and the catch-up schedule, so they will reference each other where appropriate.

H. Cody Meissner
H. Cody
Meissner

According to Beysolow, another big change in the schedule is a switch in the meningococcal vaccine, which expands vaccination down to age 9 months for certain children at increased risk.

Another note in next year’s schedule discusses the fact that because the 2011-2012 vaccine strains are unchanged from the 2010-2011 vaccine strains, “children in this age group who received at least one dose of the 2010-2011 seasonal vaccine will require only one dose.”

Major changes in the 2012 adult immunization schedule include the recommended use of the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine in pregnant women after 20 weeks’ gestation and in adults aged 65 years and older who are in close contact of an infant aged younger than 1 year.

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