The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has announced its recommended adult immunization schedule for 2014. Each year, the committee reviews the schedule, ensuring that current clinical recommendations are appropriately reflected.
Among the key changes to the schedule for 2014 include revised notes on administering vaccines for flu; tetanus, diphtheria, and accellular pertussis; human papillomavirus (HPV); zoster virus; pneumococcal disease and meningococcal disease.
The recommendations for flu have been amended to show that the recombinant influenza and inactivated influenza vaccines can now be used among people with a hives-only allergy to eggs, as these vaccines contain no egg protein.
New guidelines for the Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccine say it is recommended for adults at risk of Hib who have not been vaccinated before, with the exception of patients with HIV as their risk for Hib infection is low.
Patients who have undergone successful hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, meanwhile, are recommended to have a three-dose series of Hib vaccines, regardless of whether they have previously been vaccinated for Hib or not.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is a procedure used to treat conditions that cause defects to the immune system or bone marrow, such as multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Hodgkin disease.
The language concerning tetanus, diphtheria, accellular pertussis (Tdap) and tetanus, diphtheria (Td) vaccines has been adjusted to fit with the recommendations given in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) pediatric immunization schedule.
The guidelines now recommend a single dose of the Tdap vaccine for patients aged 11 or older, who have not previously been vaccinated. It is also now suggested that the TD booster should be administered every 10 years after the initial vaccination.
HPV, shingles, pneumococcal disease and meningococcal disease
Although no changes have been made to the HPV recommendations, additional information has clarified timing between the second and third doses, and again the language has been modified to minimize discrepancies with the pediatric immunization guidelines.
In addition, it is no longer considered necessary for health care workers to receive the HPV or zoster virus (shingles) vaccines, and the guidelines have been updated to reflect this.
Elsewhere on Medical News Today, we look at a study addressing concerns from some parents that the HPV vaccine could lead to '"risky sexual behavior" in teenagers and young people.
For pneumococcal disease - the condition caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria that can lead to pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis - there has been some clarification on the order vaccines should be administered, depending on whether people require both the pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) and pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23) vaccines.
Similarly, for meningococcal disease, further distinctions have been made between who should receive the meningococcal conjugate (MeanACWY-D) or meningococcal polysaccharide (MenACWY-CRM) vaccines.
Those who are interested in viewing the full schedule can do so on the website for the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Written by David McNamee