Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) provides advice and guidance on effective control of vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S. civilian population. The ACIP develops written recommendations for routine administration of vaccines to the pediatric and adult populations, along with vaccination schedules regarding appropriate periodicity, dosage, and contraindications. ACIP statements are official federal recommendations for the use of vaccines and immune globulins in the U.S., and are published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Purpose and impact
The overall goals of the ACIP are to provide advice to government agencies for reducing the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases and to increase the safe usage of vaccines and related biological products. In the U.S., immunizations have resulted in the eradication of smallpox, polio, measles, and rubella, and disease rates from vaccine-preventable diseases have been reduced by 99%.
Both private insurers in the United States and the federal government use ACIP recommendations to determine which vaccines they will pay for.
Most states in the U.S. have adopted ACIP vaccine recommendations and mandate immunization before enrollment in public school, while allowing religious or philosophical exemptions to vaccination.
Regularly scheduled ACIP meetings are held three times a year. Notices of each meeting, along with agenda items, are published in the Federal Register in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). A vote on vaccine recommendations may be taken when a quorum of at least eight eligible ACIP members are present. Eligible voters are those members who do not have a conflict of interest. If there are not eight eligible voting members present, the ACIP executive secretary can temporarily designate ex officio members as voting members, as provided in the committee charter.
Their process includes review of labeling and package inserts; review of the scientific literature on the safety and efficacy; assessment of cost effectiveness; review of the morbidity and mortality associated with the disease; review of the recommendations of other groups; and consideration of the feasibility of vaccine use in existing programs.
At meetings the ACIP may vote to include new vaccines into the VFC program or to modify existing vaccine schedules. These votes are codified as VFC resolutions. In most cases, a resolution takes effect after establishing a CDC contract for the purchase of that vaccine in the necessary amounts.
To ensure thorough review of available information, ACIP often appoints working groups to assist drafting its recommendations, composed of ACIP members, CDC staff and others with immunization expertise.
The ACIP nominally contains fifteen regular members, each an expert in one of the following fields:
- immunization practices and public health
- use of vaccines and other immunobiologic agents in clinical practice or preventive medicine
- clinical or laboratory vaccine research
- assessment of vaccine efficacy and safety
- consumer perspectives and/or social and community aspects of immunization programs; at least one member must be an expert in this category.
In addition, the ACIP includes ex officio members from Federal agencies involved with vaccine issues, and non-voting liaison representatives from medical and professional societies and organizations.
- Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the National Health Service counterpart in the United Kingdom
- "Vaccine timeline". National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. 2006-10-19. Archived from the original on 24 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Rising Costs Complicate Vaccine Guidelines". 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
- Diekema DS, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Bioethics (2005). "Responding to parental refusals of immunization of children". Pediatrics 115 (5): 1428–31. doi:10.1542/peds.2005-0316. PMID 15867060.
- LeBlanc S (2007-10-17). "Parents use religion to avoid vaccines". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-11-24.
- "ACIP charter". National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. 2007-12-10. Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "The ACIP-VFC vaccine resolutions". National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. 2007-10-29. Archived from the original on 8 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "ACIP members". National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. 2007-01-07. Archived from the original on 30 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-31.