Each year, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews the recommended childhood immunization schedule to ensure that it is current with changes in manufacturers' vaccine formulations, has revised recommendations for the use of licensed vaccines, and has recommendations for newly licensed vaccines. This report presents the recommended childhood immunization schedule for 2002, which has remained the same in content since January 20011 but has a redesigned format (Figure 1).
Recommended childhood immunization schedule*—United States, 2002
The format of the 2002 schedule is based on a design developed by the Minnesota Department of Health immunization program; the recommendations and format have been approved by ACIP, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The new design highlights the importance of catch-up vaccination, the preadolescent visit, the preference for administering the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine series at birth, and three vaccines for selected at-risk groups. The importance of assessing whether children aged 24 months–18 years require any catch-up vaccination is emphasized by the use of hatched bars. The schedule also underscores the visit at age 11-12 years when immunization status should be reviewed and all necessary vaccines administered.
The schedule indicates a preference for administering the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns soon after birth and before hospital discharge. Administering the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth should minimize the risk for infection because of errors in maternal hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) testing or reporting, or from exposure to persons with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the household, and can increase the likelihood of completing the vaccine series. Only monovalent hepatitis B vaccine can be used for the birth dose. Either monovalent or combination vaccine can be used to complete the series. Four doses of hepatitis B vaccine, including the birth dose, may be administered if a combination vaccine is used to complete the series. In addition to receiving hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and the hepatitis B vaccine series, infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers should be tested for HBsAg and antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs) at age 9-15 months to identify those with chronic HBV infection or those who may require revaccination.2
The area below the dashed line (Figure 1) displays certain vaccines recommended for use in selected populations. High-risk children aged 24-59 months should receive catch-up pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) doses, if indicated.3 Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended in addition to PCV for certain high-risk groups.3 The recommendation to administer annual influenza vaccine to high-risk children also appears on the schedule.4
As a result of the vaccine supply shortage, deferral of some doses of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td), diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP), and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been recommended5- 7; health-care providers should record patients for whom vaccination has been deferred and should contact them once the supply has been restored.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act requires that all health-care providers give parents or patients copies of Vaccine Information Statements before administering each dose of the vaccines listed in the schedule. Additional information about Vaccine Information Statements is available from state health departments and at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS. Detailed recommendations for using vaccines are available from the manufacturers' package inserts, ACIP statements on specific vaccines, and the 2000 Red Book.2- 4,8 ACIP statements for each recommended childhood vaccine can be viewed, downloaded, and printed from the CDC National Immunization Program at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/ACIP-list.htm; instructions on the use of the Vaccine Information Statements are available at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS/vis-Instructions.pdf.
Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule—United States, 2002. JAMA. 2002;287(6):707-708. doi:10.1001/jama.287.6.707