The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement, “Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules – United States, 2012,” published in the February 2012 Pediatrics (published online Feb. 1), includes updated schedules for children ages 0 through 6, ages 7 through 18, and a catch-up schedule for children with late or incomplete immunizations.
The schedule reflects current recommendations for use of FDA-licensed vaccines, and has 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.
Three of the vaccine recommendations reflect major changes: human papillomavirus (HPV), meningococcal, and influenza.
- The AAP now recommends that all males aged 11 or 12 years of age receive the HPV vaccine in a three-dose series; the series can start as early as 9 years of age.
- The meningococcal vaccine can now be given to children as young as 9 months if they are residents or travelers to countries with epidemic disease or at increased risk of developing meningococcal disease. Routine immunization with the meningococcal vaccine should begin at 11 through 12 years with a booster dose administered at 16 years of age.
- For children aged 6 months through 8 years, the influenza vaccine should be administered in two doses for those who did not receive at least one dose of the vaccine in 2010-11. Children who received one dose last season require one dose for the 2011-12 influenza season.