Fascinating Report on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
Oct 28, 2014

Time and again I hear people on social media criticizing our immunization practices here in the United States.  Often they make suggestions that vaccine recommendations are made arbitrarily and without careful consideration.  Some even go so far as to suggest that vaccine recommendations are made for the sole purpose of lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies.

My purpose in contributing to this blog has always been to inform people about immunizations and the various professionals and non-profit organizations working to ensure that timely immunizations are available to protect U.S. citizens from serious and often debilitating diseases.  What I’ve learned is that many people fail to recognize the great efforts that are made by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)mmwrhead.  This committee consists of many dedicated immunization experts who are given the immense responsibility of providing external advice to the CDC and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Recently I read a detailed and fascinating MMWR report, written by Jean Clare Smith, MD, Alan R Hinman, MD, and Larry K. Pickering, MD, which summarizes the evolution of the ACIP over the past 50 years. I felt it was rather timely, given the fact that later this week the ACIP will meet once again, to discuss a variety of immunization related items.

I assure you that all you need to do is witness one of the ACIP’s three annual meetings to gain a greater appreciation of the time and detail that is spent ensuring that immunization recommendations are being based on sound science.

This Wednesday and Thursday, the committee will meet to once again discuss a wide variety of topics to include:

  • an update on influenza surveillance
  • an update on effectiveness of live-attenuated and inactivated seasonal influenza vaccines in children and adolescents
  • a discussion of novel influenza
  • a report of pertussis among health-care personnel and Tdap vaccination
  • an update on hepatitis A disease burden and population protection
  • a review of the child/adolescent and adult immunization schedules for 2015
  • consideration for  use of serogroup B meningococcal vaccines in the U.S.
  • an update on typhoid vaccines
  • proposed changes to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reporting form
  • summary and new 9-valent HPV vaccine trial data, as well as a discussion of policy options of 9-valent HPV vaccine

Why not get a glimpse of the type of information that is shared at these meetings?  Tune into the live webcast on Wednesday and Thursday, by following the instructions at this link:  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/webcast-instructions.html

Then, be sure to return to Shot of Prevention on Thursday morning, to read up on some relevant background in regard to a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine that is on the ACIP’s agenda this week.

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