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Reuters Health Information (2006-01-06): CORRECTION: Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule updated for 2006

Public Health

CORRECTION: Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule updated for 2006

Last Updated: 2006-01-06 9:54:15 -0400 (Reuters Health)

[Corrects story posted Jan 5, 2006. For annual influenza vaccine, paragraph five has been corrected to "children 6 months of age or older" - from 6 months of age or younger.]

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The 2006 Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule includes new recommendations for immunizing against meningococcal disease, pertussis, influenza, hepatitis A and hepatitis B, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today.

Some key changes are as follows:

-- Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) should be administered to all children between 11 and 12 years old as well as to unvaccinated adolescents at high school entry (age 15 years), and college freshmen living in dormitories should also be vaccinated with MCV4 or meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4). Vaccination with MPSV4 for children 2 to 10 years old and with MCV4 for older children in certain high-risk groups is also recommended.

-- To protect adolescents against whooping cough, a new tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap adolescent preparation) is recommended for adolescents 11 to 12 years, and for those aged 13 to 18 years who missed their earlier Tdap booster dose. Subsequent Td boosters are recommended every 10 years.

-- Annual influenza vaccine is now recommended for children 6 months of age or older who have certain risk factors, including conditions that can cause breathing or swallowing difficulties, such as spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders.

-- Hepatitis A vaccine is now universally recommended for all children at age 1 year. Children not vaccinated at 1 to 2 years of age should be vaccinated during the preschool years.

-- The importance of the hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) birth dose is emphasized in the new schedule, which recommends screening of all pregnant women for hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg). The birth dose should be delayed only under rare circumstances and then only if a physician's order to withhold the vaccine and a copy of the mother's original HBsAg-negative laboratory report are documented in the infant's medical record.

The full 2006 immunization schedule is in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that is located at:

MMWR 2006;54:Q1-Q4.

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