CDC letter addresses potential barrier to adult immunizations

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Agency provides information for pharmacists when FDA-approved vaccine package insert conflicts with ACIP recommendations

Pharmacists and other health professionals face challenges in administering vaccines to adults as recommended by CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) when the vaccine’s package insert, as approved by FDA, contains information that is different from the ACIP recommendations. This issue was raised at the National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit and its Access and Collaboration Work Group.

To address this potentially significant barrier to immunizations, CDC developed the attached letter for pharmacists from Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, Director, Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC. In the letter, Wharton provides pharmacists with the background information on how ACIP arrives at recommendations for vaccine use and the implications of ACIP recommendations. The letter describes Tdap for pregnant women as an example of how a vaccine should be used according to ACIP recommendations. Wharton also acknowledges the important role of pharmacists in promoting immunization for adults. This information is important in our collective effort to improve adult immunization coverage rates in the United States.

We thank CDC for providing this information and for supporting the efforts of the “immunization neighborhood.” Let us know if there are other issues you would like guidance on as you engage with other stakeholders within the immunization neighborhood. Send suggestions to Mitch Rothholz.

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