October 25, 2012
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ACIP recommends combined immunization schedule for 2013

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The CDC has combined the two currently existing pediatric immunization schedules into one for the coming year.

In a presentation to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Iyabode Beysolow, MD, MPH, of the CDC, said the CDC and the AAP have heard for some time that the schedule in its current form, which divides children aged 0 to 6 years and 7 to 18 years, is confusing, particularly when it comes to the footnote section located at the bottom of each schedule.

In the revised version, all footnotes would be combined into two pages, with the end result being a combined schedule page, a catch-up page, followed by a two-page footnote page.

Amy Middleman, MD, who is on the Infectious Diseases in Children Editorial Board and was in attendance at the meeting, praised the new format but suggested the entire booklet come in a horizontal format, so it can be hung from a wall in a clinician’s office and referred to, similar to a calendar format.

Beysolow said the amended schedule was the joint effort of many clinicians and also was the result of a pilot study of pediatricians, family practice physicians, public health nurses and formative research from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in Tennessee. The research was conducted in September and included 68 health care providers.

“Reaching out to people who are going to try and use this and making it as clear as possible for them was the goal of this work group,” said Renée Jenkins, MD, an ACIP member who also served as the work group’s chair.

The committee voted unanimously to recommend the revised schedule, which will be published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in February.

For more information:

Beysolow I. Child/adolescent immunization schedule, 2013. Presented at: Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; Oct. 24, 2012; Atlanta.