[Policy Statement] American Academy of Pediatrics releases updated vaccination schedule

Jan 28th – Released today, the AAP, CDC and the American Academy of Family Physicians have finalized 2013 vaccine recommendations.

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Image: PD

In a statement released today:

1. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the American Academy of Family Physicians have finalized 2013 vaccine recommendations.

2. Major changes include an overall redesign to simplify the schedule, an emphasis on tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccination for all pregnant adolescents and adults and additional information regarding pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines for individuals with high-risk medical conditions.

With vaccination schedules becoming increasingly complicated, the AAP, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the CDC and the American Academy of Family Physicians, have worked to redesign vaccination guidelines. The new vaccination recommendations chart includes a single schedule for children 0-18 years old (who were previously grouped as 0-6 and 7-18 years), bolded titles for ages when children are entering school, and separate pages with expanded footnotes for routine or catch-up schedules. Additional information has also been added to the footnotes section on the use of specific pneumococcal vaccines and meningococcal vaccines in children and adolescents with high-risk medical conditions.

As the number of pertussis infections has recently increased in the US, and infants are known to be at greatest risk of significant morbidity and mortality, the policy highlights a new recommendation for Tdap vaccination for all pregnant adolescents and adults. The AAP acknowledges a lack of established data on the effects of additional Tdap dosing and intends to publish a more firm stance in 2014. Notably, the catch-up schedule for children who have missed a vaccine dose by more than 1 month from the recommended date is unchanged.

Further reading:  

1. Parent-friendly vaccine schedules for children and adolescents

2. “Preteen and Teen Vaccines” – Information on the Tdap vaccine from the CDC

3. Red Book Online

4. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations

5. Vaccine Status Table –  Information on new vaccines, supplies, and recommendations from the AAP

Click to read the study in Pediatrics

By Leah H Carr and Devika Bhushan

More from this author: Banning smoking in public places linked to reduction in asthma-related hospital admissions; Paternal distress predicts poor early childhood mental health; Adolescents seeking weight loss treatment at higher risk for weight-based bullying; Enclosed tobacco displays appear to dissuade teens from purchasing tobacco products

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