New ACIP Adult Immunization Schedule Recommends Changes to Several Vaccines

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has released its 2021 Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule that includes changes to several vaccines including influenza, hepatitis A, human papillomavirus (HPV); and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The schedule also includes interim recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination. The complete schedule, including changes in the vaccine notes section, is being simultaneously published in Annals of Internal Medicine and on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

In October 2020, ACIP voted to approve the Recommended Adult Immunization Schedule for Ages 19 Years or Older, United States, 2021. Following Emergency Use Authorization of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, ACIP issued an interim recommendation at its December 12, 2020, emergency meeting for use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in persons age 16 years or older. In addition, ACIP approved an amendment to include COVID-19 vaccine recommendations in the child and adolescent immunization schedules. Following Emergency Use Authorization of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration, ACIP issued an interim recommendation at its December 19, 2020, emergency meeting for use of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in persons age 18 years or older. According to the authors, it is important for all adults to receive recommended immunizations and catch-up vaccines, even when wearing masks and following personal hygiene and social distancing measures. As such, the 2021 schedule includes a special section addressing vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The schedule, which can be complex and challenging to implement, features revised content, and has been harmonized with the Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule.

The adult immunization schedule is published annually to consolidate and summarize updates to ACIP recommendations on vaccination of adults and to assist health care providers in implementing current ACIP recommendations. The authors note that physicians should pay careful attention to the details found in the vaccine notes section, as they clarify who needs what vaccine, when, and at what dose.

Source: American College of Physicians

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