The changes were recommended by a CDC advisory panel last October. Now approval of the changes by the American Academy of Pediatrics makes the new guidelines official.
The biggest change is the oldest news: All kids should get the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine. That means two shots (or sniffs of the intranasal version) for kids under age 10, and one dose for older children.
Another change offers the Gardasil human papillomavirus vaccine to boys. Previously recommended only for girls, the vaccine protects against the virus that causes cervical cancers in women and genital warts in both sexes. The virus also causes anal cancers in both sexes and penile cancers in men, but the vaccine has not been proven to prevent these outcomes.
And not to be overlooked is the important recommendation for boosting the bacterial meningitis vaccine. There are two recommendations:
- Kids at high risk should get the shot as early as age 2 and as late as age 6. Now they’ll need another shot three years after the first if they’re still at high risk or after five years if the first dose was given at age 7 or older.
- Kids not at high risk should get the first shot at age 11 or 12 (or ages 13 to 18 if not previously vaccinated).
Another change expresses a general preference for combination vaccines over separate injections of vaccine components.