Children's 2012 vaccine schedule released

The 2012 vaccine schedule for children and adolescents has been released, incorporating changes for the use of multiple vaccines that were adopted over the past year.

The biggest changes on the schedule include that the quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccines known as Menactra may now be used in children as young as nine months and that human papillomavirus vaccination administration is also recommended for boys, MedPage Today reports.

The schedule, which was published in the February issue of Pediatrics, was approved by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The document contains schedules for children from birth through the age of six, children and teens ages seven through 18 and a catch-up schedule. The addition of Menactra reflected the approval of the vaccine for children as young as nine months. HPV vaccine guidance was added to include the vaccination for males with Gardasil to reduce the chances of getting genital warts, according to MedPage Today.

The timing of doses for the hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin was clarified for infants weighing less than 4.4 pounds and for heavier infants born to mothers positive for the surface antigen of hepatitis B. Other clarifications were made for the Tdap vaccine, the MMR vaccine, the hepatitis A vaccine, the inactivated poliovirus vaccine and the influenza vaccine.