Combination shots are best when children receive multiple immunizations in one visit and all children 6 months and older should receive the H1N1 vaccine. These are two of the new vaccine recommendations for 2010, which were recently issued jointly by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Centers for Disease Control, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Published in the January 2010 issue of Pediatrics, other key changes to the immunization schedule for this year are:
- A recommendation that the final dose of the inactivated poliovirus vaccine series be given on or after the fourth birthday and at least 6 months after the previous dose. Children receiving 4 doses before age 4 years should receive an additional (fifth) dose at ages 4 through 6.
- Approved use of a newly licensed HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine for girls, known as HPV2. According to the report, girls should get their first dose of either the HPV2—or the earlier HPV4 vaccine—around age 11 or 12.
- A suggestion that a three-dose HPV vaccine can be given to boys between 9 and 18 years old to prevent genital warts.
Also revised in 2010 are recommendations for the bacterial meningitis vaccine. Children at high risk for contracting meningitis are advised to receive the shot as early as age 2 and as late as age 6. New for this year, children who remain at high risk will need a booster shot three years after their first immunization—or after five years if the first dose was given at age 7 or older.