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Changes to Childhood Vaccination Schedule

Live attenuated influenza vaccine now recommended for children as young as 2 years

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has published its annual update on recommendations for childhood immunization in the Jan. 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

There are several changes in this year's recommendations. For the live attenuated influenza vaccine, the committee recommends that while it should not be administered to children younger than 5 years of age who have recurrent wheezing, healthy children as young as 2 years old can now be vaccinated. The catch-up schedules for meningococcal vaccines, the tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, acellular pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines have also been updated.

Children at increased risk of meningococcal disease, such as those traveling to countries where the disease is hyperendemic or endemic, should be vaccinated with meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) rather than meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4). The same applies to children with terminal complement component deficiencies and those with anatomic or functional asplenia.

"The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act requires that health care providers provide parents or patients with copies of Vaccine Information Statements before administering each dose of the vaccines listed in the schedule," the recommendations state.

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