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Notice to Readers: Revised Standards for Adult Immunization Practices and Child and Adolescent Immunization Practices, 2003

During the 1990s, two sets of standards were introduced to guide delivery of vaccinations for adults and children: Standards for Adult Immunization Practices, developed by the National Coalition for Adult Immunization in 1990, and Standards for Pediatric Immunization Practices, developed by the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC) in 1992. Under the leadership of NVAC, both sets of standards have been revised to reflect changes in the health-care delivery system, new tools and strategies for supporting vaccination providers, growing recognition of the importance of adolescent vaccination, and an increasing emphasis on improving communications regarding vaccine benefits and risks. Key partners and stakeholders contributed to the revisions, and leading medical and public health organizations have endorsed them.

The revised standards focus on making vaccines readily accessible; properly assessing patient vaccination status; effectively communicating with patients; ensuring proper storage, administration, and documentation; implementing strategies to improve vaccination rates; and developing community partnerships to reach target patient populations. Concise explanations of each of the standards describe how to implement them.

The intended audience for both sets of standards includes health-care providers, public health officials, policymakers, health-plan administrators, and employers who purchase health-care coverage. By applying these standards, health-care professionals can begin to develop a comprehensive plan to improve vaccination delivery in their practices, protect their patients from vaccine-preventable diseases, and help achieve the national health objectives for 2010 (1). In addition, health-care providers and program managers who lack the resources to implement these standards should find them useful for defining and obtaining the necessary resources. Both standards have been published (2,3); they also are available at


  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy people 2010, 2nd ed. With understanding and improving health and objectives for improving health (2 vols.). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000.
  2. Poland GA, Shefer AM, McCauley M, et al. Standards for adult immunization practices. Am J Prev Med 2003;25:144--50.
  3. National Vaccine Advisory Committee. Standards for child and adolescent immunization practices. Pediatrics 2003;112:958--63.

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This page last reviewed 10/9/2003