Creating the Immunization Schedule

Once vaccines are licensed…How is the immunization schedule determined for children?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a group of medical and public health experts who carefully review all available data about each vaccine from clinical trials and other studies to develop recommendations for vaccine use for children, adolescents and adults. The recommendations include the age(s) when the vaccine should be given, the number of doses needed, amount of time between doses, and precautions and contraindications regarding the use of the vaccine.

When making recommendations, the ACIP considers:

  • How safe is the vaccine when given at specific ages and in combination with other vaccines?

  • How well does the vaccine work at specific ages?

  • How serious is the disease this vaccine prevents?

  • How many individuals would get the disease the vaccine prevents if we didn’t have the vaccine?

  • After the committee evaluates all the available materials about the vaccine a recommendation is made. This deliberation is conducted in a public forum to ensure complete transparency. Once the committee’s recommendations are approved by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccine is incorporated into the ACIP/CDC Recommended Immunization Schedule for either children or adults



Additional Resources
The Journey of Your Child's Vaccine
IOM Report: The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety

Additional Resources


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