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Fact Sheet:

Notice of Proposed Vaccination Criteria for U.S. Immigration

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CDC is proposing vaccination criteria to help determine which vaccines should be required for immigration to the United States.

Current vaccination requirements

Immigrants must go through a medical screening for certain diseases and receive vaccinations to help protect the public’s health. Immigrants are screened―

  • before coming to the United States, when seeking permanent residence, OR
  • in the United States, when changing their visa status to become permanent residents.

Currently, immigration law requires that immigrants have proof of vaccination against―

  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Tetanus and diphtheria
  • Pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Any other vaccinations recommended by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

ACIP recommendations

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is made up of vaccine experts who provide guidance to U.S. health agencies. ACIP provides written recommendations for vaccination of children and adults in the U.S. population. All ACIP vaccine recommendations for the general public are currently applied to U.S. immigrants as part of medical screening.

Proposed vaccination criteria for immigrants

CDC is proposing specific criteria to determine which ACIP-recommended vaccines should be required for U.S. immigrants during medical screening. These criteria would be applied to the ACIP-recommended vaccines that are not specifically named in immigration law.

The proposed criteria are as follows:

  • The vaccine must be age-appropriate, as recommended by ACIP for the general U.S. population. This means vaccinations are only required for immigrants within the age group for which a specific vaccine is recommended.

  • AND at least one of the following:

  • The vaccine must protect against a disease that has the potential to cause an outbreak.
  • The vaccine must protect against a disease that has been eliminated from the United States or is in the process of being eliminated in the United States.

If these criteria are adopted, CDC experts would apply the criteria when ACIP vaccination recommendations are updated to determine which vaccines should be required for immigration. The proposed criteria have been published as a Federal Register Notice, and CDC welcomes any comments by May 8, 2009.

Benefits

  • Using the proposed criteria will allow CDC the flexibility to adapt vaccination requirements for U.S. immigrants based on public health needs.
  • As more vaccines become available, CDC will be able to use the proposed criteria to be responsive to ACIP vaccine recommendations.

NOTICE: This web page is archived for historical purposes and is no longer being maintained or updated. The information is accurate only as of the last page update.

 
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