ACIP recommends second varicella shot

The committee also gave a nod to the HPV vaccine for girls.

By Victoria Stagg Elliott — Posted Aug. 7, 2006

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices issued recommendations to add a second dose of the varicella vaccine and a series of shots providing protection against the human papillomavirus to the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule, according to statements issued after its June 29 meeting.

The committee, which is convened quarterly by the Dept. of Health and Human Services to advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, took action on the varicella vaccine in response to several reports of outbreaks among immunized children. These events suggested that one shot may not be enough to provide immunity for some. The initial immunization should still be given at 12 to 18 months, with the second administered to children when they are between 4 and 6 years old. Older children, adolescents and adults who only received one dose should also be given a second.

"This recommendation will further reduce outbreaks of chicken pox and provide better individual protection," said Anne Schuchat, MD, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The committee also voted in favor of routinely administering three doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine to girls 11 to 12 years old, although the shot can be given to those as young as 9. It can also be given to those age 13 to 26.

"The availability of the HPV vaccine is the start of a wonderful new day in women's health," said John M. Clymer, president of the national nonprofit Partnership for Prevention.

One version of this vaccine was approved in June by the Food and Drug Administration, and another is expected to follow before the end of the year. Both protect against four variants of the virus that lead to 70% of cervical cancers. Experts warned that while this shot is expected to make a significant dent in disease rates, screening will still be necessary.

"Although an effective vaccine is a major advance ... women should continue to get Pap tests," said Dr. Schuchat.

These recommendations are provisional and will not become CDC policy until accepted by the agency's director and published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Back to top

External links

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (link)

Vaccination resources, American Medical Association (link)

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn