The CDC immunization schedule is never set in stone, as it is updated each year to reflect the most current guidance and what’s best for your children.
Before the CDC immunization schedule can be changed, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) votes to recommend approval of the Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger. The vote typically happens in the fall of the previous year and the changes are announced in February.
In addition to being approved by the ACIP, the schedule must be approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Let’s take a look at the changes to this year’s CDC immunization schedule for children
CDC Immunization Schedule Changes for 2019
The following changes have been made to the schedule:
- The influenza row is modified to reflect CDC recommendations for use of inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) and live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) among children 24 months and older.
- The hepatitis A vaccine row reflects the recommendation for use among infants 6 through 11 months of age prior to departure for an international destination.
- The Tdap vaccine row includes advice for vaccination of pregnant adolescents 13 through 18 years.
We’re also in the midst of one of the biggest measles outbreaks in the United States since 1994. Nearly 900 cases have been reported. Health experts say the virus is spreading among school-age children whose parents declined to give them the vaccine for measles.
Measles can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. MMR is a live virus vaccine for protection against measles, mumps and rubella (German measles).
The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. The potential for side effects is minimal.
CDC researchers recommend anyone born after 1957 receive a vaccine for measles. Measles is not strictly a childhood disease and adults and teenagers should be up-to-date on their vaccinations. If you do not know your vaccine status, speak with your physician about receiving the vaccine.
According to the CDC, up to 90 percent of people who are not immune will become infected if they are exposed to the measles virus. And keep this in mind: for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.
National Immunization Awareness Month
This is a good time to make sure your child’s vaccine schedule is up-to-date. August is National Immunization Awareness Month. It’s an annual observance designed to highlight the importance of immunizations. Each week of the month underscores the benefits of vaccination for people of all ages — including infants, children, teens, pregnant women and adults.