The CDC’s update to the Immunization Schedule highlights the new best practices and the efficacy and safety of crucial vaccines for children, according to a session at the virtual National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 2020 Annual Meeting.

Mary Beth Koslap-Petraco, DNP, PPCNP-BC, CPNP, FAANP, lead the discussion on specific vaccine revisions that are crucial to note. For example, the Haemophilus influenzae B vaccine (HIB booster) was revised, which indicates that catch-up vaccination is not recommended for previously unvaccinated children who are 5 years of age and older.

“Unless you have a child who is high risk, they no longer need to have the HIB booster,” Koslap-Petraco said.

Further, the hepatitis A vaccine was revised to recommend catch-up in all children and adolescents ages 2 through 18 years who have not previously received the hepatitis A vaccine.

“Whether they are homeless children or adults, this vaccine is recommended, but all children and adolescents are recommended to complete the 2-dose series,” Koslap-Petraco said.

Koslap-Petraco also mentioned the changes in the hepatitis B, meningitis A and B (MenACWY), and polio vaccines, each with different dosage schedules that can be found on the CDC website.

In the influenza vaccine realm, the NanoFlu vaccine for adults aged 65 years and older is a recombinant quadrivalent seasonal influenza vaccine candidate adjuvanted with Matrix-M™. This vaccine’s technology and improvement over egg-based vaccines may be helpful in finding the right coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, according to Koslap-Petraco.

Although there is a COVID-19 vaccine in development, Koslap-Petraco mentioned that Paul Offit, MD, vaccine expert, head of Vaccine Information Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, cautions that a vaccine could be multiple years away, not months. “The FDA looks to see that those in a vaccinated group of clinical trials have less of targeted disease than those in control group,” Koslap-Petraco said. “Further, this vaccine must be safe and cause few and mild side effects.”

More specifically with children, there was a reported 64 suspected cases of pediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome being investigated in New York as of May 5, 2020. This syndrome has features that overlap with Kawasaki Disease and toxic shock syndrome, according to Koslap-Petraco.

“Some patients have developed cardiogenic or vasogenic shock and have required intensive care, and it may occur days to weeks after acute COVID-19 illness.”

With this new information, Koslap-Petraco emphasized to keep children up to date with routine child health vaccines and emphasizing safe appointment practices, such as checking on well children in the morning and sick children in the afternoon to avoid cross contamination.

Koslap-Petraco MB. CDC Immunization Update 2020-Focus on the Schedule. 2020 NAPNAP Virtual Conference.