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CDC adds COVID-19 vaccine to child, adolescent immunization schedule

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CDC adds COVID-19 vaccine to child, adolescent immunization schedule

The CDC Roybal Campus. Source: CDC.gov

Atlanta, GA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added the COVID-19 primary vaccine series to the 2023 child and adolescent immunization and adult schedules for healthcare providers.

The schedules summarize current vaccine recommendations for kids, teens, and adults, but it does not set vaccine requirements for schools or workplaces, CNN reported.

The changes to the schedule also include recommendations on COVID-19 boosters, updated guidance on pneumococcal and influenza vaccines, and new vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), as well as for hepatitis B, according to the CDC.

“This means COVID-19 vaccine is now presented as any other routinely recommended vaccine and is no longer presented in a special ‘call out’ box as in previous years. This, in a sense, helps ‘normalize’ this vaccine and sends a powerful message to both healthcare providers and the general public that everyone ages 6 months and older should stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines (including a booster, when eligible), just as they would with any other routinely recommended vaccine,” Dr. Neil Murthy and Dr. A. Patricia Wodi said in a statement according to CNN.

The recommendations also add the use of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PCV15, to treat bacterial infection. Either the PCV13 or PCV15 may be used based on the pediatric population.

The CDC has stated that vaccinations among children have declined recently. In the 2021-2022 school year, vaccination rates for kindergarteners fell to 93% for required vaccines, a decrease below the overall goal of 95% set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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