Who develops the recommended vaccine schedule?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sets the U.S. childhood immunization schedule based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — a group of medical and public health experts. This schedule also is approved by some of the nation’s top medical doctors at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Physicians. To develop recommendations for each vaccine, ACIP works year-round, reviewing available data on new and existing vaccines and diseases.

The information ACIP reviews for each vaccine always includes:

  • The safety and effectiveness of the vaccine when given at specific ages: Only vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration are recommended, and vaccine makers must conduct detailed tests to show that a vaccine is safe and effective at specific ages.
  • The severity of the disease: Vaccines recommended for children prevent diseases that can be serious for them, potentially causing long-term health problems or death.
  • How many children get the disease if there is no vaccine: Vaccines that do not provide benefit to many children may not be recommended.
  • The differences in how well a vaccine works for children of different ages: The ability of vaccines to help the body produce immunity can vary depending on the age of the child receiving the vaccine.

Learn more about ACIP considerations in the vaccine recommendation process, including recommended ages for administration of various vaccines to children.

CDC: The Childhood Immunization Schedule
CDC: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices


You’ve got questions. That’s a good thing.

As parents, determining how best to protect our children can be overwhelming and confusing. We’re here to help.

Related Questions

The vaccine’s safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children ages 5 through 11 who received the vaccine and no serious side effects have been detected in the ongoing study…
Minors, 5 through 17 years of age, need parental consent to be vaccinated…


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I Vaccinate provides information and tools based on real medical science and research to help Michigan parents protect their kids. Support is provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Franny Strong Foundation.

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