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Issue Number 292            January 22, 2002


  1. CDC publishes Notice to Readers on 2002 Childhood Immunization Schedule


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January 22, 2002

On January 18, 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published "Notice to Readers: Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule--United States, 2002" in the Morbidity and  Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). (Last week IAC EXPRESS reported on the release of the Schedule by the American Academy of Pediatrics in the journal Pediatrics.)

The Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule also is referred to commonly as "the  harmonized schedule" because it reflects the unified, or harmonized, conclusions of three medical groups as described in the Notice.

The complete text of the Notice, excluding references, reads as follows:


Each year, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviews the recommended childhood immunization schedule to ensure that it is current with changes in manufacturers' vaccine  formulations, has revised recommendations for the use of licensed vaccines, and has  recommendations for newly licensed vaccines. This report presents the recommended childhood immunization schedule for 2002, which has remained the same in content since January 2001 but has a redesigned format (Figure 1).

The format of the 2002 schedule is based on a design developed by the Minnesota Department of Health immunization program; the recommendations and format have been approved by ACIP, the  American Academy of Family Physicians [AAFP], and the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP]. The new design highlights the importance of catch-up vaccination, the preadolescent visit, the preference for administering the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine series at birth, and three vaccines  for selected at-risk groups. The importance of assessing whether children aged 24 months-18 years require any catch-up vaccination is emphasized by the use of hatched bars. The schedule also underscores the visit at age 11-12 years when immunization status should be reviewed and all necessary vaccines administered.


The schedule indicates a preference for administering the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns soon after birth and before hospital discharge. Administering the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine soon after birth should minimize the risk for infection because of errors in maternal hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) testing or reporting, or from exposure to persons with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the household, and can increase the likelihood of completing the vaccine series. Only monovalent hepatitis B vaccine can be used for the birth dose. Either monovalent or  combination vaccine can be used to complete the series. Four doses of hepatitis B vaccine, including the birth dose, may be administered if a combination vaccine is used to complete the series. In addition to receiving hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and the hepatitis B vaccine series, infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers should be tested for HBsAg and antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs) at age 9-15 months to identify those with chronic HBV infection or those who may require revaccination.


The area below the dashed line (Figure 1) displays certain vaccines recommended for use in selected  populations. High-risk children aged 24-59 months should receive catch-up pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) doses, if indicated. Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) is recommended in  addition to PCV for certain high-risk groups. The recommendation to administer annual influenza vaccine to high-risk children also appears on the schedule.


As a result of the vaccine supply shortage, deferral of some doses of tetanus and diphtheria toxoids (Td), diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP), and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) has been recommended; health-care providers should record patients for whom vaccination has been deferred and should contact them once the supply has been restored.


The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act requires that all health-care providers give parents or patients copies of Vaccine Information Statements before administering each dose of the vaccines listed in the schedule. Additional information about Vaccine Information Statements is available from state health departments and at Detailed recommendations for using vaccines are available from the manufacturers' package inserts, ACIP statements on specific vaccines, and the 2000 Red Book. ACIP statements for each recommended childhood vaccine can be viewed, downloaded, and printed from the CDC National Immunization Program at; instructions on the use of the Vaccine Information Statements are available at


To obtain the complete text of this Notice to Readers and the Schedule online, go to:

The footnotes in the Schedule in the Notice to Readers are printed across the page and are somewhat difficult to read. A two-column format for the Schedule's footnotes was adopted by ACIP, AAP, and AAFP in the final version below.

To view or print the two-column 2002 Recommended Childhood Immunization Schedule, go to:


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IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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Editorial Information

  • Editor-in-Chief
    Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
  • Managing Editor
    John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
  • Associate Editor
    Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
  • Writer/Publication Coordinator
    Taryn Chapman, MS
    Courtnay Londo, MA
  • Style and Copy Editor
    Marian Deegan, JD
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    Arkady Shakhnovich
    Jermaine Royes
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    Laurel H. Wood, MPA
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    Kayla Ohlde

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