News from the FDA/CDC

ACIP updates recommendations for adult vaccines


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released an updated schedule for adult vaccines. The update includes changes regarding the administration of several vaccines, including those for influenza, human papillomavirus (HPV), hepatitis A and B, and meningitis B, as well as the pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate (PCV13) vaccine.

The schedule, revised annually by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the CDC, was simultaneously published online February 3, 2020, in the Annals of Internal Medicine and on the CDC website.

Perhaps the change most likely to raise questions is that concerning the PCV13 vaccine. “Owing to a decline in prevalence of the types covered by the PCV13 vaccine, this is no longer routinely recommended for all persons age 65 and older,” senior author Mark Freedman, DVM, MPH, of the immunization services division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease, said in an interview.

For purposes of shared clinical decision, however, it should be discussed with previously unvaccinated seniors who do not have risk factors, such as an immunocompromising condition, a cerebrospinal fluid leak, or a cochlear implant.

“But the circumstances for use of the vaccine are not always clear even based on the detailed list of considerations provided, because it’s impossible to think of every conceivable combination of risk factors,” Mr. Freedman added.

Possible beneficiaries of this vaccine are vulnerable elderly people living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities and those living in or traveling to settings in which the rate of pediatric PCV13 uptake is low or zero.

All adults in this age group should continue to receive a single dose of the pneumococcal 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine.*


The advisory committee now recommends catch-up immunization for women and men through age 26 years (the previous cutoff for men was 21). And in another new recommendation, the ACIP advises considering vaccination for some patients aged 27-45 years who have not been adequately vaccinated.

“Most people ages 27-45 do not need vaccination, but some may benefit,” Mr. Freedman said. “For example, somebody who’s been in a prior long-term monogamous relationship and suddenly finds himself with a new sexual partner.”

“That makes very good sense for older people who haven’t been vaccinated and might continue to be exposed to HPV,” Daniel M. Musher, MD, a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and an infectious diseases physician at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Houston, said in an interview.

Here again, the ACIP advises taking a shared decision-making approach, with clinicians discussing the merits of vaccination in this and other scenarios with patients according to the talking points outlined in the HPV section.

Influenza, hepatitis A and B

For the 2019-2020 influenza season, routine influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months or older who have no contraindications. Where more than one appropriate option is available, the ACIP does not recommend any product over another.

Routine hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 1 year or older who have HIV infection regardless of their level of immune suppression.

For hepatitis B, a new addition to the list of vulnerable patients who may possibly benefit from vaccination is pregnant women at risk for infection or an adverse infection-related pregnancy outcome. Whereas older formulations are safe, the ACIP does not recommend the HepB-CpG (Heplisav-B) vaccine during pregnancy, owing to the fact that safety data are lacking.

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