Updated Vaccine Schedule Released

Child and teen immunization schedules published with minor updates

(RxWiki News) The updated 2012 recommended vaccination schedules for children and adolescents has been released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The three immunization schedules include one for children from birth to age 6, one for children from age 7 to age 18, and a catch-up schedule for kids who start late or fall behind schedule.

"Keep your children up to date on immunizations."

One change is adding routine vaccination for boys with the HPV vaccine, but much of the updated information involve minor changes and clarifications, especially in the footnotes.

The schedules have clarifications for giving the hepatitis B vaccine and immune globulin to babies weighing under 4.4 pounds and babies born to mothers with hepatitis B.

They also include updated information on giving the Tdap (tetantus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) and Hib vaccines in the catch-up schedule.

Suggestions are provided for giving babies between 6 and 11 months the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine if they will be traveling overseas.

The schedules also include guidance for giving a meningococcal booster and the meningococcal vaccine to children at higher risk for meningitis. This vaccine can also now be given to children as young as 9 months.

The footnotes for the flu vaccine explain dosing for children from 6 months to 8 years old during the current flu season and list contraindications for giving children the live flu shot.

The footnotes also note clarifications for the hepatitis A vaccine and that the inactivated polio vaccine is not regularly recommended for U.S. residents aged 18 and over.

The committees collaborating on the schedules tried to simplify them by taking out footnotes that are duplicated on each individual schedule.

Caregivers and parents will now need to look at all three schedules for footnotes, but the schedules should look less cluttered and easier to read, according to the AAP statement.

Dr. Michael Brady, chairperson of the AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases, led the committee of 13 pediatricians.

In addition to the AAP, the schedules were approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The CDC website states that the 2012 child/adolescent vaccination schedule will be published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on February 9.

If a child experiences an apparent side effect or medical adverse event after getting shots, their parents should report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) by calling 1-800-822-7967 or going to the U.S. government's health and human services website for VAERS.

Review Date: 
February 3, 2012