Ask the Experts: Providing Answers to Your Timely and Challenging Influenza Vaccination Questions

October 2013

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.
CDC’s 2013 Immunization Schedules and IAC’s Easy-To-Use Summaries
Published February 2013
Information presented in this article may have changed since the original publication date. For the most current immunization recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, visit
Early each year, CDC publishes updated versions of the recommended U.S. immunization schedules to reflect changes that occurred throughout the previous year. This year, for the first time, schedules for children, teens and adults were all published simultaneously. If you have not seen them, consult the January 28, 2013 supplement issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly (MMWR). Although the updates for 2013 were not vast, it is important that your office staff, as immunization providers, is aware of the updates and implement appropriate procedural changes if necessary.
To make your job easier, the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has designed two user-friendly documents that summarize guidance in the current CDC recommendations: Summary of Recommendations for Child/Teen Immunization and Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization. Every year, IAC updates both summaries to reflect the new and updated recommendations made throughout the year by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The summaries distill hundreds of pages of ACIP recommendations for child, teen and adult immunization into two handy, easy-to-use documents.
Formatted as a four-page reference table of essential immunization information for healthcare professionals, each summary incorporates information from the most current U.S. immunization schedules. This includes the spacing between doses, schedules for catch-up vaccination, routes of administration, and contraindications and precautions for all routinely recommended vaccines in the United States. The child/teen summary covers vaccines recommended for people from birth through age 18 years, and the adult schedule covers vaccines recommended for people 19 years and older.
With new vaccines being licensed and the recommended immunization schedules growing more complex, it is difficult to keep all the details in one’s mind. Supplying all vaccine providers in your healthcare setting with copies of the summaries will help them follow the ACIP recommendations and avoid such scheduling errors as giving vaccines too close together or administering them by the wrong route. In addition, the summaries include pithy general advice, such as “any vaccine can be given with another” and “mild illness is not a contraindication,” which will help you avoid missing opportunities to vaccinate.
The summaries have long proved their value–for almost two decades, they have been the most popular downloads from IAC’s busy website for healthcare professionals, They have been reprinted in textbooks and state health department newsletters and distributed at countless medical, nursing, and public health conferences. Take a look at the freshly updated 2013 Summary of Recommendations for Child/Teen Immunization and Summary of Recommendations for Adult Immunization. Print the summaries on card stock and place them in every exam room for easy reference–you’ll be glad you did!
Summary of Recommendations for Child/Teen Vaccination
Summary of Recommendations for Adult Vaccination
Access to more than 250 ready-to-copy IAC materials for healthcare professionals and patients


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