CDC’s “General Recommendations on Immunization”Make Sure You Have a Copy!

July 2011

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 “General Recommendations on Immunization” – Make sure you have a copy!
Published July 2011
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
In January 2011, CDC published “General Recommendations on Immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).” This 61-page publication is a “must-have-at-your-fingertips” resource for healthcare professionals who administer vaccines.
Some of the topics covered in the general recommendations include:
Timing and spacing of vaccines
Contraindications and precautions
Preventing and managing adverse reactions
Vaccine administration
Storage and handling of vaccines
Altered immunocompetence
Vaccination records
Toward the end of the publication, you’ll find 15 tables and six figures of practical information. Some of the tables you will likely refer to most often include:
Table 1: Recommended and minimum ages and intervals between vaccine doses
Table 3: Guidelines for spacing of live and inactivated antigens
Table 6: Contraindication and precautions to commonly used vaccines
Table 7: Conditions commonly misperceived as contraindications to vaccination
Table 8: Treatment of anaphylaxis in children and adults with drugs administered intramuscularly or orally
Table 9: Dose and route of administration for selected vaccines
Table 10: Needle length and injections site of IM injections for children and adults
Table 11: Vaccine storage temperature recommendations
Five of the six figures cover information about intramuscular and subcutaneous needle insertion; the final figure is a sample temperature log for monitoring refrigerators and freezers.
Make sure to circulate copies of these materials to all staff involved in vaccine administration (including providers) and post copies of the ones you find most useful in convenient locations to use as handy references. 
Print your copy of the General Recommendations on Immunization
You’ll find yourself referring to this immunization “treasure” frequently. 


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