ACIP Issues 2015 Pediatric Vaccine Schedule

Fran Lowry

January 26, 2015

The 2015 recommended immunization schedule for children and adolescents living in the United States has been released, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases, announced in the January 26 issue of Pediatrics. The updated vaccine schedules come at a time when measles and influenza are experiencing serious outbreaks.

The updated recommendations have been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Unlike in previous years, the updated schedules will not be published in Pediatrics. Instead, they are available on the American Academy of Pediatrics website and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. In addition to the immunization schedule, the websites provide a full set of footnotes and the catch-up schedule. The schedule will be updated online when new vaccines become available so providers will have the most current information.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, only minor changes in the schedule have been made this year. The changes reflect current recommendations for the use of vaccines licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration and include a new column to emphasize the availability of inactivated influenza vaccine and live-attenuated vaccine starting at 2 years of age and the need for two doses of influenza vaccine for some children aged 2 through 8 years; a second column for children at 9 through 10 years of age, indicating when two doses are no longer needed; and the addition of a purple bar for young children aged 6 months to less than 12 months traveling outside the United States who will need the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

In addition, minor, clarifying word changes were made to the catch-up schedule with regard to the Haemophilus influenza type b; pneumococcal conjugate; tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis, absorbed; hepatitis A; hepatitis B; polio; meningococcal; measles-mumps-rubella; and varicella vaccines.

The footnotes contain the following changes:

  • minor, simplifying word changes relating to diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines;

  • an update of the influenza vaccine footnote to reflect revised contraindications and precautions for the live-attenuated influenza vaccine; and

  • a major change to the meningococcal footnote to clarify appropriate dosing schedules for high-risk infants and children for the three different vaccines.

The Committee on Infectious Diseases also stresses the reporting of clinically significant adverse events that follow immunization to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Instructions for such reporting can be found on the system's website or by calling 800-822-7967.

"Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule – United States, 2015." ACIP.

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