The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday issued an advisory on the revised cadre of vaccines for children.
If parents of young children ask, the CDC now expects to start administering vaccines to those young children 18 months after their 15th birthday, rather than their 16th. The agency also now expects doctors to administer the vaccine for a second dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, or DTaP, about 20 months after its initial vaccination, rather than 21 months.
After the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine was established in 1963, vaccination rates for those infants increased, enabling them to be protected from these diseases. In other words, an earlier age at which the first dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine can be given reduced the risk of infection.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said new information and additional research had pushed up the needed time to begin the immunization schedule for young children, which began with the recommendation for children to be vaccinated between 14 and 16 months of age.
“The updated cadre of vaccines encourages families to remain educated on vaccines, chooses best for individual children and allows us to work together to address vaccine preventable disease epidemics,” Frieden said in a statement.