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Reuters Health Information (2005-10-28): CDC committee recommends routine hepatitis A vaccination for children

Public Health

CDC committee recommends routine hepatitis A vaccination for children

Last Updated: 2005-10-28 13:11:06 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - An advisory committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that hepatitis A vaccination be included in the routine vaccination schedule of US children.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) unanimously agreed on universal hepatitis A vaccination for children between 12 to 35 months of age, with catch-up vaccination through the pre-school years.

The ACIP's last guidelines, released in 1999, called for vaccination of children living in states with the highest hepatitis A rates. The group decided to expand the recommendations to all children when it became apparent that most cases were now occurring in states in which hepatitis A vaccination had not been recommended.

"Routine vaccination of children is the most effective way to reduce the incidence of hepatitis A, " Dr. Steve Cochi, acting director of the CDC's National Immunization Program, said in a statement. "This recommendation is an important step toward the total elimination of the transmission of hepatitis A virus in the US."

Hepatitis A vaccination continues to be recommended for travelers to countries with high rates of hepatitis A, men who have sex with men, illegal drug users, and patients with chronic liver disease.

 
 
 
 
                 
 
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