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2017 Update of Immunization Schedules

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The Centers for Disease control and Prevention have just released an update on the immunization schedules for children for 2017. One very notable change made by the AAP’s Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule for 2017 in the US is the removal of the live attenuated influenzae vaccine as an option for vaccination against influenza.

Dr. Theoklis Zaoutis, a member of the AAP committee that helped make the immunization report stated this was primarily done because the live attenuated vaccine has shown decreased effectiveness. This change will make life a lot easier for pediatricians. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) also agrees with the changes recommended by AAP.

Another new change included in the CDC report suggests that the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine can now be administered to children between ages 9 and 10. The change will hopefully improve the vaccination rates against HPV, which has been very low in the past. The primary reason for this has been reluctance on the part of teenagers to get the vaccine, either due to personal reasons or parental influence. Yet another change in the new update is that at age of 16, a meningococcal booster shot will need to be administered.

The CDC pediatric immunization schedules have also been approved by the AAP, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

This years update on pediatric immunization schedules also include changes to haemophilus influenzae type B, diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (dTaP), hepatitis B, pneumococcal, and meningococcal vaccines.

While the HPV vaccine may be administered at age 9, the recommended age for routine vaccination still 11-12 years. In addition, the HPV vaccine includes a 2-dose schedule for children who get vaccinated before age 15.

The Comvax, haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine is no longer on the market and has been replaced by Hiberix.

There is now a new recommendation for the hepatitis B vaccine, which should be administered within 24 hours of birth in medically stable infants who weigh more than 2,000 grams or infants born with hepatitis B surface antigen.

The Tdap vaccine for pregnant adolescents has been changed to weeks 27-36 because data indicate that this early period of vaccination can maximize passive antibody transfer to the newborn.