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Reuters Health Information (2005-10-14): Adult immunization schedule updated

Public Health

Adult immunization schedule updated

Last Updated: 2005-10-14 15:40:22 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has updated its Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule. The new Schedule is comprised primarily of clarifications regarding existing recommendations for vaccines, Dr. Raymond Strikas, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters Health.

In addition, he added, it incorporates "new recommendations this past year on the use of varicella vaccine and on meningococcal immunization, for which there are now two licensed vaccines, and changes in influenza vaccine recommendations."

As noted in the Schedule footnotes, varicella vaccination is now recommended for all adults without evidence of immunity to varicella. The Committee advises particular consideration be given to individuals who have close contact with persons at high risk for severe disease (such as health-care workers and family contacts of immunocompromised persons), or who are at high risk for exposure or transmission.

The advice regarding meningococcal vaccination primarily involves those likely to be exposed to Neisseria meningitides. Medical indications include adults with asplenia or terminal complement component deficiencies.

The Committee has revised their recommendation regarding influenza vaccination to add persons with neuromuscular conditions that compromise respiratory function.

The revised Schedule also now includes Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccination for populations at high risk, such as those with asplenia, leukemia, HIV, or sickle cell disease.

Although some of the information for the remaining vaccines used in adults has been reworded, it is basically unchanged for tetanus and diphtheria, measles, mumps, and rubella, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, and hepatitis A and B vaccination.

The Adult Immunization Schedule is published in the MMWR QuickGuide for October 14 and can be accessed in English and in Spanish at

MMWR 2005;54.

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