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Technically Speaking
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February 2017
Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC's) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
New “16-year-old Vaccination Platform” Highlighted in 2017 U.S. Child/Teen Immunization Schedule
Published February 2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently posted the 2017 Recommended Immunization Schedule for Children and Adolescents Aged 18 Years or Younger. This online publication of the new schedule was accompanied by an article in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) describing the changes implemented in the 2017 immunization schedule compared to the 2016 version.

The first change highlighted in the MMWR is the addition of a "16-year-old" age column to Figure 1. (Note: Figure 1 is the multicolored child/teen immunization schedule showing vaccine names along the left side and age columns listed across the top.) Previously, a single column designated the broader "16–18 years" age group. The new "16-year-old" column is further emphasized on the schedule with the addition of a gray background color in the column heading, identical to what exists for two other important vaccination age ranges, i.e., "4-6 years" and "11-12 years." So we now have three immunization platform visits indicated on the child/teen schedule: 4-6 years, 11-12 years, and 16 years.
 

Why the 16-year-old column is important

The new "16-year-old" column brings much needed attention to the fact that several CDC-recommended vaccinations due to be administered at 16 years of age are being overlooked by many providers. These include:

  • MenACWY dose #2 — recommended at age 16
  • MenB dose #1 — recommended (category B) at age 16
  • HPV "catch-up" — needed for those who have not yet completed their series
  • Influenza vaccine — recommended seasonally
  • Other vaccines — the 16-year-old platform provides a "catch-up" opportunity for patients who have fallen behind on other recommended vaccines (e.g., HepA, HepB, varicella)

According to CDC's most recent National Immunization Survey-Teen, a paltry 33 percent of teens (through age 17 years) have completed MenACWY dose # 2, a vaccine recommended at age 16. We have unacceptably low coverage rates for many vaccines recommended for our nation's adolescents, including HPV vaccine series completion. The addition of a 16-year-old platform provides a distinctive visible reminder to healthcare professionals (and perhaps their patients/parents) that 16-year-olds are due for the important vaccinations shown above.

This new platform has created a perfect opportunity to consider establishing a 16-year-old vaccination visit in your medical practice. It will serve as an impetus to improve vaccination rates for 16-year-olds in your office, a reminder to 16-year-olds (and their parents) who look at the schedule to check their need for vaccinations, and the perfect opportunity to help bring teens in for a visit to receive other essential healthcare services they may be missing.

CDC resources

IAC materials for healthcare professionals

IAC websites for healthcare professionals

Position statement: The Society of Adolescent Health and Medicine

 
         Establishing an Immunization Platform for 16-Year-Olds in the United States
2017 ISSUES >> view all issues
SEPTEMBER 2017
It's Time for Annual Flu Shots — Make Sure Your Patients and Staff Are Vaccinated
AUGUST 2017
Standing Orders Protocols Can Improve Your Vaccination Rates
JULY 2017
Routine Schedules for MenACWY and MenB Vaccines – Make Sure You’re Giving Them on Time
JUNE 2017
"General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization" – Everything CDC Wants You to Know about the Practical Aspects of Vaccination
MAY 2017
ACIP Has Updated Its Recommendations on the Use of Tdap Vaccine in Pregnant Women and Children
APRIL 2017
Make Sure You Are Using VISs in Accordance with Federal Law
MARCH 2017
ACIP Now Recommends Hepatitis B Vaccine within 24 Hours of Birth
FEBRUARY 2017
New “16-year-old Vaccination Platform” Highlighted in 2017 U.S. Child/Teen Immunization Schedule
JANUARY 2017
Updated ACIP Recommendations on HPV Vaccine
 
This page was updated on May 26, 2017.
 
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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 6NH23IP22550) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.