ACIP Work Groups

ACIP uses subgroups of the Committee, known as Work Groups, to review relevant published and unpublished data and develop recommendation options for presentation to the ACIP. The goal of ACIP Work Groups is to increase the effectiveness of ACIP.

ACIP Work Groups are responsible for collection, analysis, and preparation of information for presentation, discussion, deliberation, and vote by the ACIP in an open public forum. Work Groups review specific topics in detail and clarify issues in a way that helps ACIP voting members make informed and efficient decisions, with the best and most current information available.

Three Work Groups—the Combined Child/Adolescent and Adult Immunization Schedules, General Best Practices, and Influenza Vaccines Work Groups—are permanent. The remaining Work Groups are task oriented. These task-oriented Work Groups are developed in response to specific needs and are disbanded when the task at hand has been completed.

The following Work Groups are currently active (click on the name of each Work Group for more information): (Updated 1/16/2021)

Combined Child/Adolescent and Adult Immunization Schedule

  • Work Group Purpose: The Combined Child/Adolescent and Adult Immunization Schedule Work Group edits and maintains the annual child/adolescent and adult immunization schedule documents. The child/adolescent immunization schedule summarizes the ACIP vaccination recommendations for persons 18 years of age and younger and the adult immunization schedule summarizes the ACIP vaccination recommendations for persons 19 years of age and older.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: The products of this work group do not establish new vaccine recommendations; the work group documents reflect existing ACIP recommendations.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Publication of the annual child/adolescent and adult immunization schedules
  • Work Group Co-Leads: Patricia Wodi and Mark Freedman
  • Work Group Co-Chairs: Henry Bernstein and Kevin Ault

General Best Practices

  • Work Group Purpose: The General Best Practices Work Group revises the ACIP General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization on an ongoing basis. The General Best Practices Work Group also addresses emergent issues that do not clearly belong to one of the other task-oriented Work Groups.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Timing and spacing of vaccinations
    • General contraindications and precautions to vaccination
    • Preventing and managing adverse reactions to vaccination
    • Vaccine administration
    • Vaccine storage and handling
    • Altered immunocompetence
    • Vaccination records
    • Vaccination programs
  • Work Group activities:
  • Work Group Lead: Andrew Kroger
  • Work Group Chair: Lynn Bahta

Influenza Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: The Influenza Vaccine Work Group discusses the annual influenza vaccination recommendations and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration The Work Group reviews data and literature related to influenza vaccine efficacy, effectiveness, and safety.  Data concerning new licensures and licensure changes are also discussed.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Vaccination of older adults (individuals 65 years of age and older)
    • Timing of vaccination
    • Vaccination during pregnancy
    • Determination of the number of doses needed for young children
  • Work Group activities:
    • Ongoing discussions of VE
    • Ongoing discussions of vaccine safety
    • Discussion of new licensures and licensure changes as relevant
  • Work Group Lead: Lisa Grohskopf
  • Work Group Chair: Keipp Talbot

Cholera Vaccine

  • Work Group Purpose: In 2017, ACIP recommended the cholera vaccine CVD 103-HgR for adult travelers (aged 18–64 years) from the United States to an area of active cholera transmission. The work group will review more recent pediatric data for cholera vaccine CVD 103-HgR among children and adolescents aged 2–17 years.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Use of cholera vaccine for travel in children and adolescents aged 2–17 years.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review available safety and immunogenicity data for CVD 103-HgR among children and adolescents.
    • Develop evidence-based recommendations using the GRADE approach.
    • Update MMWR Recommendation and Report.
  • Work Group Lead: Jennifer Collins
  • Work Group Chair: Pablo Sanchez

COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Work group purpose: To review available data to inform COVID-19 vaccine policy, including recommendations for use of COVID-19 vaccines in the US population,
  • Topics under discussion by the work group:
    • Use of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. population
  • Work group activities:
    • Review safety and immunogenicity data for COVID-19 vaccines, particularly in vaccine candidates in Phase I-III clinical trials in the US.
    • Review the epidemiology of COVID-19 disease
    • Identify areas where additional data are needed to inform COVID-19 vaccine recommendations
    • Develop COVID-19 vaccine policy options that ACIP may consider for recommendation
  • Work Group Co-Leads: Sara Oliver and Kathleen Dooling
  • Work Group Chair: Beth Bell

COVID-19 Vaccines Safety Technical Work Group (VaST)

  • Work group purpose: The ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Safety Technical Work Group (VaST) was established to provide expert consultation on COVID-19 vaccine safety issues. Ten independent expert consultants make up this group along with members from other federal agencies and organizations. The group conducts independent, rapid reviews of available safety monitoring data for the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program and to provide summaries of their findings to the ACIP.
  • Work group activities: The VaST met to review the first post-authorization safety monitoring data from the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program on December 21, 2020, one week after the start of vaccinations. The group is meeting weekly to assess safety data on COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Work Group Co-Leads: Lauri Markowitz and Melinda Wharton
  • Work Group Chair: Grace Lee

Dengue Vaccine

  • Work Group Purpose: Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics. The Dengue Vaccine Work Group reviews data on dengue vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Use of dengue vaccines in groups at risk for dengue, including people living in dengue endemic areas and for people traveling from non-endemic to endemic areas.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy data from clinical trials and long-term follow-up studies for dengue vaccines submitted for licensure in the United States
    • Develop evidence-based recommendations for implementation of vaccination in the public and private sectors with dengue vaccines licensed for use in the United States.
    • Identify areas where additional data are needed (i.e., future directions) to improve control of dengue though safe and cost-effective vaccination
  • Work Group Lead: Gabriela Paz-Bailey
  • Work Group Co-Chair: Kathy Poehling and Wilbur Chen

Ebola Vaccine

  • Work Group Purpose: The purpose of the ACIP Ebola virus vaccine working group is to review the available data on the rVSV-ZEBOV vaccine and develop domestic vaccine policy options for ACIP consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Safety and immunogenicity data for rVSV-ZEBOV vaccination of healthy adults between ≥ 19 years of age
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review safety and immunogenicity data and develop domestic pre-exposure vaccination recommendations for healthy adults between ≥ 19 years of age who meet the following criteria:
    • Laboratory personnel who directly handle a) cultures or b) animals contaminated or infected with replication-competent Ebola virus (i.e., those that are capable of causing clinical infection and producing infectious virus in humans) or c) diagnostic or clinical specimens containing replication-competent Ebola virus from Ebola-infected patients
    • Healthcare workers who currently treat or anticipate treating patients with Ebola virus infections working at biocontainment units in the United States
    • Persons who are currently responding to or anticipate responding to an Ebola virus disease outbreak due to Ebola virus.
  • Work Group Lead: Mary Choi
  • Work Group Chair: Sharon Frey

Hepatitis Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Update recommendation for Hepatitis B vaccination among U.S. adults
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Consideration of hepatitis B universal vaccination
    • Evaluation of the safety and preferential use of HEPLISAV-B for adult vaccination
  • Work Group activities:
    • Evaluate studies, including cost-effectiveness analysis, related to hepatitis B vaccine recommendations.
    • Evaluate studies related to HEPLISAV-B efficacy and safety overall, and efficacy among select risk groups (e.g., diabetics)
  • Work Group Lead: Mark Weng
  • Work Group Chair: Sharon Frey

Herpes Zoster Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: To review, evaluate, and synthesize data pertaining to herpes zoster vaccination and develop policy options for ACIP consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Use of recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) among moderate to severely immunocompromised adults in the United States
  • Work Group activities:
    • Evaluation of vaccine uptake, coverage, and series completion
    • Evaluation of post-licensure data pertaining to safety and effectiveness
    • Review the burden of herpes zoster in immunocompromised populations
    • Review of RZV immunogenicity and efficacy data from immunocompetent and immunocompromised groups
    • Review RZV safety data from immunocompetent and immunocompromised groups
    • Provide evidence-based recommendation options for ACIP
    • Identify areas in need of further research for informing potential future vaccine recommendations
  • Work Group Lead: Tara Anderson
  • Work Group Chair: Grace Lee

Orthopoxvirus Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: The Orthopoxvirus genus includes Variola virus (the causative agent of smallpox), Vaccinia virus (the principal source of smallpox vaccine), and Monkeypox virus (the cause of multiple African outbreaks with resulting imported cases to several countries including the U.S.) among others. Smallpox, the best-known disease caused by an orthopoxvirus, has been eradicated, but laboratory and healthcare personnel continue to be at risk for this and other Orthopoxvirus infections.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Use of JYNNEOS to prevent occupational exposures to orthopoxviruses including during routine occupational work and in preparation for a bioterror event.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review available data about safety and effectiveness of JYNNEOS, including among persons with atopic dermatitis, immunocompromising conditions, and pregnancy.
    • Consolidate U.S. recommendations for vaccination of persons who may have occupational exposures to orthopoxviruses
    • Identify areas in need of further research for informing potential future vaccine recommendations to prevent Orthopoxvirus
  • Work Group Lead: Agam Rao and Brett Petersen
  • Work Group Chair: Beth Bell

Pneumococcal Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Each year in the United States, pneumococcal disease causes thousands of infections, such as meningitis, bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and ear infections. The Pneumococcal Vaccines Work Group reviews data on pneumococcal vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Administration of higher valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines in all US adults
  • Administration of higher valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for adults with certain underlying conditions
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review evidence for PCV15 and PCV20 use among adults
    • Finalize Evidence to Recommendations framework including GRADE
    • Update MMWR Recommendation and Report as needed
  • Work Group Lead: Miwako Kobayashi
  • Work Group Chair: Kathy Poehling

Rabies Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Rabies is an acute and fatal encephalomyelitis transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. The Rabies Vaccines Work Group reviews data on rabies vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Review data and information for use of rabies vaccines and related products in the United States.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Determine the epidemiology and burden of rabies exposures and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) administration in the United States
    • Evaluate and develop recommendation options as needed for rabies vaccination schedules, deviations in schedules, and monitoring of immunity by taking into consideration efficacy, immunogenicity, safety, cost-effectiveness, route and location of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PREP) and PEP
    • Review rabies exposure risk and risk assessment guidelines for the general population and by occupational and recreational groups (e.g., veterinarians, laboratorians, travelers)
    • Evaluate ACIP serological monitoring recommendations including whether recommendations should differ depending on the degree of rabies risk for a person and whether adequate antibody titers are needed to confirm immunization
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Agam Rao
  • Work Group Chair: Sharon Frey

Tick-borne Encephalitis Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Tick-borne encephalitis is caused by a flavivirus primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected Ixodes species tick. The Tick-borne Encephalitis (TBE) Work Group plans to review data on TBE burden in travelers, military service members and laboratory workers, review immunogenicity and reactogenicity data for FSME-IMMUN, the TBE vaccine to be submitted to FDA for licensure consideration, and develop policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Use of TBE vaccine in travelers, military service members and laboratory workers to prevent TBE.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review the background on TBE, including its epidemiology, clinical presentation and sequelae, diagnosis and treatment.
    • Review the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy data from clinical trials and long-term follow-up studies for TBE vaccine, FSME-IMMUN, to be submitted for licensure in the United States.
    • Provide evidence-based recommendation options for ACIP.
    • Identify areas in need of further research for informing potential future vaccine recommendations.
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
  • Work Group Lead: Susan Hills
  • Work Group Chair: Kathy Poehling
Page last reviewed: January 16, 2021