New Vaccination Guidelines: HepB for Diabetics; HPV for Young Men

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There were a number of changes to the 2012 clinical guidelines that doctors follow for adult immunizations, released by a federal panel.

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The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the federal panel responsible for setting guidelines for use of vaccines in the United States, has issued its 2012 clinical guidelines for adult immunizations. Doctors refer to the guidelines when recommending vaccinations for their patients.

There were significant changes to the vaccinations recommended for young men and boys, pregnant women, and diabetics.

HEPB FOR DIABETICS

Hepatitis B vaccination is now recommended for adult diabetics under the age of 60. This recommendation is based on the fact that diabetics have more than twice the risk of contracting hepatitis B than do non-diabetics.

The ACIP advises that for diabetics over 60, the decision to vaccinate be made on an individual basis, taking into account the patient's overall medical condition. This recommendation reflects the lower rates of effectiveness of the vaccine in older, frailer people. In general, the more robust a patient's health, the greater the likelihood that he or she will respond to the vaccine.

HPV FOR MALES

The new guidelines extend the call for routine vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) to all boys and young men between the ages of 11 and 21. The HPV vaccine has already been recommended for females aged 11 to 26. HPV vaccination is also recommended for men up to age 26 who engage in same-sex relations.

TDAP IN PREGNANCY

The ACIP now advises that pregnant women receive the tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine after 20 weeks' gestation. The previous recommendation called for vaccination of the mother after delivery. The change in timing allows the fetus to benefit from the mother's immune response prior to birth. The new recommendation supplements existing guidelines that call for vaccinating family members and other close contacts of children less than 12 months old.

The guidelines were published in Annals of Internal Medicine. More information about the updated guidelines is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

Image: Reuters.


This article originally appeared on TheDoctorWillSeeYouNow.com, an Atlantic partner site.

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Susan H. Scher

Susan Scher has a medical degree from Boston University and is a specialist in the field of medical education and health communications. She has written on a wide range of subjects related to the science and practice of medicine.

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