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Health Groups Release 2008 Immunization Schedules
Date:1/11/2008

Children and Adolescents now Protected Against More Diseases than Ever

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ATLANTA, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Updated immunization recommendations for childhood influenza and adolescent meningococcal vaccinations are included in the 2008 Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedules released jointly today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

"Although we can now protect more children against more vaccine- preventable diseases than ever before, the immunization schedules can be confusing for parents and physicians," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC. "The updates to this year's schedule help clarify our vaccination recommendations and, therefore, should make it easier for parents to protect their children against potentially serious diseases."

The childhood schedule expands the recommendation for the nasal spray influenza vaccine, FluMist, to include children from 2 to 4 years of age who don't have a history of asthma or wheezing. The vaccine, which contains a weakened form of the live virus and is sprayed in the nose, had previously been limited to healthy children 5 years of age and older and healthy adults up to age 50.

"We know that vaccinating children protects them against flu," said Dr. Schuchat. "This recommendation gives parents another choice when vaccinating their children."

The new guidance also addresses vaccination against meningococcal disease. Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV4) is now recommended for routine vaccination of children 11 - 12 years of age and of adolescents 13-18 years of age who have not been previously vaccinated and other people at increased risk of meningococcal disease, including college freshmen living in dorms, as well as military recruits.

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SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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