Today’s Infectious Disease News (2/11/23)

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CDC adds COVID-19 Vaccine to Schedule of Recommended Routine Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added COVID-19 vaccines to the list of recommended routine vaccinations. The guidelines do not set school requirements, as these rules are determined by state or local governments. Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines. Incorporating this vaccine into the schedule “sends a powerful message to both healthcare providers and the general public that everyone ages 6 months and older should stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccines (including a booster, when eligible), just as they would with any other routinely recommended vaccine”,  Dr. Neil Murthy and Dr. A. Patricia Wodi said in a statement.

The report also advises healthcare professionals on how to handle a mumps outbreak. These recommendations come on the heels of a measles outbreak in Ohio that sickened 85 unvaccinated children. The report recommends an extra booster of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine if a mumps outbreak occurs. The document also contains guidelines for polio, hepatitis B and pneumococcal immunization. As the national vaccination rate for kindergarteners fell to 93% last school year, below the minimum threshold scientists say is necessary, the US has become vulnerable to the resurgence of infectious diseases. “Why is that a matter of concern? Because it opens up opportunities for these viruses and other germs to be reintroduced into the United States, and to cause outbreaks of disease”, explained Dr. William Schaffner, a professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “The recently concluded measles outbreak in Ohio is an example, the introduction of the poliovirus into New York is an example, and we need to keep our guard up”.

Full Story: CNN, The Hill