The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued the policy statement, “Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule – United States, 2013
,” published in the February 2013 Pediatrics (published online Jan. 28). The new schedule includes several changes, including a full redesign due to the complexity of the schedules and the need for additional space in the footnotes to clarify vaccine recommendations. The major vaccine schedule changes from last year include the administration of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine to adolescents and adults during each pregnancy. This recommendation is in response to the increasing number of pertussis cases nationally. Because infants are most at-risk of contracting pertussis (whooping cough), before they can be immunized themselves, they are better protected from this potentially deadly disease if the mother receives the vaccine during each pregnancy. In addition, the pneumococcal vaccine footnote itemizes the medical conditions for administration of PCV13 in children ages 24 through 71 months and for use of PPSV23 in children 2 years of age and older, and the meningococcal footnote includes guidance for immunization of children 2 months through 10 years of age with high-risk conditions. These schedules have been approved by the AAP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. (www.aap.org