The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) periodically reviews the recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedule to ensure that the schedule is current with changes in vaccine formulations and reflects revised recommendations for the use of licensed vaccines, including those newly licensed. The recommendations and format of the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule and catch-up schedule for January–December 2006 were approved by ACIP, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) (Figure and Table).
The changes to the previous childhood and adolescent immunization schedule, published January 2005,1 are as follows:
The importance of the hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) birth dose has been emphasized. Vaccination of infants born to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative mothers can be delayed in rare circumstances, but only if a physician's order to withhold the vaccine and a copy of the mother's original HBsAg-negative laboratory report are documented in the infant's medical record. Administering four doses of HepB is permissible (e.g., when combination vaccines are administered after the birth dose); however, if monovalent HepB is used, a dose at age 4 months is not needed. For infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers, testing for HBsAg and antibody to HBsAg after completion of the vaccine series should be conducted at age 9–18 months (generally at the next well-child visit after completion of the vaccine series).
A new tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine recommended by ACIP for adolescents (Tdap adolescent preparation) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on May 5, 2005, for use in the United States. Tdap is recommended for adolescents aged 11–12 years who have completed the recommended childhood diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and pertussis/diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertusis (DTP/DTaP) vaccination series and have not received a tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td) booster dose. Adolescents aged 13–18 years who missed the age 11–12-year Td/Tdap booster dose should also receive a single dose of Tdap if they have completed the recommended childhood DTP/DTaP vaccination series. Subsequent Td boosters are recommended every 10 years.2
Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4), approved by FDA on January 14, 2005, should be administered to all children at age 11–12 years as well as to unvaccinated adolescents at high school entry (age 15 years). Other adolescents who wish to decrease their risk for meningococcal disease may also be vaccinated. All college freshmen living in dormitories should also be vaccinated with MCV4 or meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4). For prevention of invasive meningococcal disease, vaccination with MPSV4 for children aged 2–10 years and with MCV4 for older children in certain high-risk groups is recommended.3
Influenza vaccine is now recommended for children aged ≥6 months with certain risk factors, which now specifically include conditions that can compromise respiratory function or handling of respiratory secretions or that can increase the risk for aspiration.4
Hepatitis A vaccine is now universally recommended for all children at age 1 year (12–23 months). The 2 doses in the series should be administered at least 6 months apart.
The catch-up schedule for persons aged 7–18 years has been changed for Td; Tdap may be substituted for any dose in a primary catch-up series or as a booster if age appropriate for Tdap. A 5-year interval from the last Td dose is encouraged when Tdap is used as a booster dose.
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act requires that health-care providers provide parents or patients with copies of Vaccine Information Statements before administering each dose of the vaccines listed in the schedule. Additional information is available from state health departments and from CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/vis.
Detailed recommendations for using vaccines are available from package inserts, ACIP statements on specific vaccines, and the 2003 Red Book.5 ACIP statements for each recommended childhood vaccine are available at the CDC National Immunization Program website at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/acip-list.htm. In addition, guidance for obtaining and completing a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System form is available at http://www.vaers.hhs.gov or by telephone, 800-822-7967.
Harmonized Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule, 2006. JAMA. 2006;295(9):994-996. doi:10.1001/jama.295.9.994