Parents and kids have gotten used to hearing about changes in the immunization schedule each year.
Many pediatricians have even likely stopped promising kids that they won't get any more shots until they are older, since recent changes and recommendations for booster shots have meant that many kids have needed extra shots that they weren't expecting.
This is what happened when many school-age kids got their chicken pox booster shot, even though they weren't expecting to get any more shots until they turned 12.
2012 Immunization Schedule
There aren't too many big changes to the 2012 immunization schedule, but at least one will likely mean some extra shots for some kids.
- a new recommendation that all boys, just like girls, should now routinely get three doses of the HPV vaccine when they are 11 or 12 years old.
- a clarification that children between the ages of 7 and 10 years of ages who are not up-to-date on their DTaP series can get a Tdap vaccine if they need protection against tetanus.
Although it won't routinely mean any extra shots for your kids, some other changes to the 2012 immunization schedule include that:
- infants who are born weighing less than 2,000 grams should get their first hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of the baby's birth if the mother's HBsAg status is unknown, whereas doctors have up to a week to determine the HBsAg status and give HBIG only if it is positive in babies who weigh more than 2,000g.
- unvaccinated children over age five years who are at high risk for infections from the Haemophilus influenzae type B bacteria, such as those with sickle cell disease, leukemia, HIV infection, or who have had a splenectomy, should get a dose of the Hib vaccine (is otherwise only recommended for kids five and under).
- children who need two doses of flu vaccine include children six months through eight years who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time or who did not get a flu vaccine last year, during the 2010-11 flu season.
- the MMR vaccine can be given to infants as young as age six months if they will be traveling out of the country, which puts them at high risk of catching measles.
- the second dose of the hepatitis A vaccine should be given 6 to 18 months after the first dose.
- high risk kids with immune system problems between the ages of 9 to 23 months should get two doses of the meningococcal vaccine eight weeks apart and then a booster dose every five years
The CDC publishes all of the immunization schedules for children, teens, adults, and catch-up immunization schedules for all age groups:
- Child Immunization Schedules
- Adult Immunization Schedule
- Custom Immunization Schedule
- CDC Immunization Schedules from immunize.org
- Catch-Up Immunization Scheduler create a personalized vaccine schedule to help get your child caught up on his vaccines
Immunization RecommendationsIn addition to a new immunization schedule, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices published new General Recommendations on Immunization last year, including information on:
- timing and spacing of vaccines, including the safety of getting multiple vaccines at one time
- contraindications and precautions to vaccination
- preventing and managing vaccine side effects
- vaccine administration
- storage and handling of vaccines
- vaccines and kids with immunosuppression
- vaccines and special situations, such as tuberculosis skin testing, severe allergies to vaccines, latex allergies, vaccination of preterm babies, and what to do about vaccines given outside the US, etc.
- vaccination records, including the use of immunization information systems
- vaccination programs to ensure that children, teens, and adults are fully immunized
- vaccine information sources that have updated vaccine information
American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement. Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule - United States, 2012. PEDIATRICS Volume 129, Number 2, February 2012.
CDC. General Recommendations on Immunization. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR. January 28, 2011 / 60(RR02);1-60. Accessed February 2011.