Vaccine recommendations in the United States
It’s that time of year again. We are being alerted that influenza vaccinations are available and that flu season is right around the corner. It’s more convenient than ever with the availability of flu shots at pharmacies, supermarkets, and even the workplace.
Did you ever wonder how vaccine recommendations are established in the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a dedicated committee known as the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that meets live in Atlanta three times every year. They are responsible for putting forward Childhood and Adult Immunization Schedules.
As a child of a polio survivor, I am passionate about vaccination to achieve and maintain public health. The success of vaccines such as Gardasil, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, in preventing HPV and ultimately cervical cancer demonstrates the necessity of vaccines for effective disease prevention.
ACIP meetings are open to the public and the proceedings are live steamed. The upcoming ACIP is meeting October 23-24, 2019. Check it out at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/index.html. It provides fascinating insight into how the ACIP members scrutinize data and vote, ultimately showing how vaccination recommendations are made. The presentations and questions asked throughout the live meeting are quite educational. It certainly can help us appreciate the amount of time and scientific evidence that result in vaccine recommendations to support public health.