US vaccine advisory panel recommends fewer vaccines

Story Highlights Advisory panel votes 10-7 against recommending more vaccine in store. Panel says several drugs designed to boost immunity are not needed. Prospects unclear for expanding US vaccines in general By Chris Kahn…

US vaccine advisory panel recommends fewer vaccines

Story Highlights Advisory panel votes 10-7 against recommending more vaccine in store.

Panel says several drugs designed to boost immunity are not needed.

Prospects unclear for expanding US vaccines in general

By Chris Kahn , CNN

(CNN) — A federal advisory panel recommended on Tuesday that the federal government not recommend more of a doctor’s recommended shots for some patients.

The Institute of Medicine’s panel voted 10-7 against recommending more vaccines on the market for children and teenagers. The panel said several immunization “boosters” designed to boost immunity are not needed.

The council is the policy arm of the IOM. It’s made up of medical experts from around the country who provide advice to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Two of the recommended vaccines — the DLP-II diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DPT) and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccines — have a weak booster component that is far less effective than other vaccine components. And while health experts believe that such boosters are still important for some children, the panel said they may not be needed for any age group, and one of the boosters should be done annually instead of every three years.

The panel recommended that the IOM conduct further research on vaccine boosters and recommend the use of those that are still strong enough.

The recommendation means that US children may not be getting enough vaccines to protect them from serious health problems. In 2016, the IOM said some children were getting less than half of recommended vaccines.

The association between exposure to vaccines and autism sparked a national debate in 1998 that put some doctors in an uncomfortable position. Eventually, research on vaccines in general showed no link between vaccines and autism.

Additionally, the panel said there may be a case for not recommending HPV vaccines for adolescents, since those vaccines, which are also available for women of childbearing age, have been shown to protect against other health problems.

The full IOM report will be published in April.

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