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February 2009
Volume 19 Issue 2
Patient Care and Science
ACIP Changes Recommendations for Anthrax, Hepatitis A Vaccines

Members of the U.S. military and others who receive anthrax immunizations are likely to receive fewer injections because of a unanimous vote taken by ACIP at its February meeting. The vaccine also will likely be administered intramuscularly instead of subcutaneously as it has been up until now because the IM injection gives fewer local reactions.

The ACIP endorsed a schedule of intramuscular injections at 0 and 4 weeks and 6, 12, and 18 months. The previous regimen called for subcutaneous injections at 0, 2, and 4 weeks and 6, 12, and 18 months. Annual booster shots are recommended.

Also at the February meeting, ACIP recommended that people who have close contact with children adopted from countries with high rates of hepatitis A should be vaccinated within 60 days of the child's arrival. Parents and caregivers should receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as the adoption process begins or at least two weeks before the child arrives in the U.S.

ACIP also discussed influenza prevention, making no changes to the list of groups who should receive annual flu vaccine.

ACIP recommendations become final once they are approved by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the secretary of Health and Human Services.  For more information, see ACIP’s home page at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/default.htm.
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