AAP Issues 2006 Childhood Immunization Schedule

Recommended changes affect administration of DTaP, hepatitis A, MCV4 and Tdap vaccines

THURSDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The 2006 childhood immunization schedule contains several significant changes, including hepatitis A vaccines for infants, meningococcal conjugate vaccine for adolescents and changes in the scheduling for diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine for toddlers and teens, according to an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) report in the January issue of Pediatrics.

Keith R. Powell, M.D., chairperson of the AAP's Committee on Infectious Diseases, and colleagues now recommend administration of the fourth dose of diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis (DTaP) in children as young as 12 months, provided six months have elapsed since they received the third dose and are unlikely to return at 15 to 18 months of age.

Other new recommendations include the universal administration of hepatitis A vaccine to infants ages 12 to 23 months and the administration of a second dose six months later; and a single dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4) for all 11- to 12-year-olds, adolescents at high school entry or 15 years of age, and college freshmen who will be living in a dormitory.

The AAP also now recommends a single dose of an adolescent preparation of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for 11- to 12-year-olds who have not received a tetanus and diphtheria (Td) booster dose and for adolescents ages 13 to 18 years who missed the 11- to 12-year-old Td or Tdap booster dose.

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