Mindful of the many demands on clinician schedules, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices unanimously approved several formatting changes to its recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger.
“These changes will make the schedules easier to read, and easier to interpret for the busy clinician,” José R. Romero, MD, FAAP, chair of ACIP’s working group, said.
Candice Robinson, MD, MPH, medical officer with the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, elaborated on the modifications.
“The goal was to remove unnecessary text while preserving all pertinent information and maintaining clarity,” Robinson said. “This was accomplished by transitioning from complete sentences to bullet points, removal of unnecessary or redundant language, using bold text and other formatting changes.”
Some of the other changes to the immunization schedule for children and adolescents unanimously approved by the ACIP today include:
- adding that maximum age for administering first dose of the rotavirus vaccine is 14 weeks and 6 days, and that the final dose of this same vaccine is 8 months, 0 days;
- clarifying that in patients between the ages of 7 and 18, a fourth dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine is not needed if the third dose was administered at least 6 months after the second dose, and the patient is 4 years of age or older;
- adding that “medically stable” babies weighing more than 2,000 grams should receive one dose of hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of being born, so long as the birth mother is hepatitis B surface antigen negative;
- indicating the number of oral doses needed to complete the polio vaccine series mirrors the recommended U.S. inactivated poliovirus vaccine schedule;
- indicating that only the trivalent oral polio vaccine counts towards U.S. vaccination requirements; and
- removing the MenHibrix vaccine.
“No new policy is being established here,” Romero, who is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, said. “We are simply reflecting the recommendations already approved by the ACIP.”
He added that the proposed schedules now go to the AAFP, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and AAP for their perusal, with the intent of CDC publishing the changes in a January 2018 or February 2018 edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. – by Janel Miller
CDC. Recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents aged 18 years or younger, United States, 2017. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf. Accessed Oct. 25, 2017.
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