In light of the recent pertussis outbreak in California and other parts of the country, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at its October meeting recommended steps to fill in some vaccination gaps. The committee recommended a single dose of the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine for adults 65 years of age and older who have close contact with infants less than one year old. In addition, those 65 and older who have not received the tetanus-diphtheria (Td) vaccine should receive a single dose of the Tdap vaccine in its place.
The committee also recommended that teenagers receive a booster dose of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine. The recommendation follows studies suggesting that antibodies generated by the vaccine decline rapidly and may no longer be protective five years after vaccination, according to IDSA’s ACIP liaison, Samuel Katz, MD, FIDSA.
Children who have received the vaccine according to the existing recommendation, at 11 to 12 years old, should now receive a booster dose at age 16. Those who may have been vaccinated at ages 13 to 15 should receive a booster dose five years after that (i.e., at 18 to 21 years old).
ACIP recommendations become official once approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published in MMWR.
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