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ACIP uses subgroups of the Committee, known as Work Groups, to review relevant published and unpublished data and develop recommendation options for presentation to the ACIP.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

Four Work Groups—the Adult Immunization Schedule, Child/Adolescent Immunization Schedule, 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 5/10/2019)

COVID-19 Vaccines Safety Technical Sub-Group (VaST)

The ACIP COVID-19 Vaccines Safety Technical Sub-Group (VaST) was established to provide expert consultation on COVID-19 vaccine safety issues. The group is co-chaired by a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and a member of the National Vaccine Advisory Committeeexternal icon (NVAC). Ten independent expert consultants make up this group as well as members from other federal agencies and organizations. The charge of the group is to conduct 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.

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.

Adult Immunization Schedule

  • Work Group Purpose: The Adult Immunization Schedule Work Group edits and maintains the annual adult immunization schedule document. The adult immunization schedule summarizes the ACIP vaccination recommendations for persons 19 years of age or older.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: The product of this Work Group does not establish new vaccine recommendations; the Work Group documents reflect existing ACIP recommendations.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Publication of the annual adult immunization schedule
  • Work Group Lead: David Kim
  • Work Group Chair: Paul Hunter

Child/Adolescent Immunization Schedule

  • Work Group Purpose: The Child/Adolescent Immunization Schedule Work Group edits and maintains the annual child/adolescent immunization schedule document. The child/adolescent immunization schedule summarizes the ACIP vaccination recommendations for persons 18 years of age and younger.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: The product of this Work Group does not establish new vaccine recommendations; the Work Group documents reflect existing ACIP recommendations.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Publication of the annual child/adolescent immunization schedule
  • Work Group Lead: Candice Robinson
  • Work Group Chair: Henry Bernstein

General Best Practices

  • Work Group Purpose: The General Best Practices Work Group revises the 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:
    • General contraindications and precautions to vaccination
    • Preventing and managing adverse reactions to vaccination
  • Work Group activities:
  • Work Group Lead: Andrew Kroger
  • Work Group Chair: Paul Hunter

Influenza Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: The Influenza Vaccine Work Group discusses the annual influenza vaccination recommendations. The Work Group reviews data on influenza vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Timing of vaccination
    • Determination of the number of doses needed for young children
    • Vaccination during pregnancy
    • Vaccination of older adults (individuals 65 years of age and older)
  • Work Group activities:
    • Ongoing review of data and literature related to influenza vaccine efficacy, effectiveness, and safety for each type and formulation of influenza vaccine offered in the United States, and for new vaccine licensures or licensure changes.
    • Ongoing review or influenza surveillance and epidemiologic data.
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Lisa Grohskopf
  • Work Group Chair: Chip Walter

Combination Vaccines

  • The Combination Vaccines Work Group is reviewing data on a new pediatric hexavalent vaccine that was licensed by FDA in December 2018. The vaccine is comprised of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTaP5), Polio (IPV), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib; PRP-OMPC), and Hepatitis B (Hep B) vaccine components.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Use of the new hexavalent vaccine in American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) population, similar to other PRP-OMP Hib vaccines.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review published and unpublished data related to the safety and immunogenicity of the hexavalent pediatric vaccine
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Sara Oliver
  • Work Group Chair: Kelly Moore

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
    • Identify areas where additional data are needed (i.e., future directions) to improve control of dengue though safe and cost-effective vaccination
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Steve Waterman
  • Work Group Chair: Robert Atmar

Hepatitis Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. The Hepatitis Vaccines Work Group reviews data on Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Hepatitis A topics include:
      • Persons living with HIV as an indication for hepatitis A vaccination
      • Policy options related to hepatitis A vaccination recommendations
    • Hepatitis B topics include:
      • Evaluation of the safety and preferential use of HEPLISAV-B for adult vaccination
      • Consideration of hepatitis B universal vaccination
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review hepatitis A vaccination literature.
    • Evaluate studies related to HEPLISAV-B efficacy and safety overall, and efficacy among select risk groups (e.g., diabetics)
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Noele Nelson
  • Work Group Chair: Kelly Moore

Herpes Zoster Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Herpes zoster is a painful rash illness, the incidence of which increases with age. There are approximately 1 million cases of herpes zoster each year in the United States. Herpes zoster may lead to complications such as post herpetic neuralgia, blindness, and encephalitis. The Zoster Vaccines Work Group reviews data on zoster vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s 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
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Kathleen Dooling
  • Work Group Chair: Kelly Moore

Human papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: HPV causes cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women; penile cancers in men; and oropharyngeal and anal cancers as well as genital warts in both men and women. The HPV Vaccines Work Group reviews data on HPV vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • The expanded age indication for 9vHPV
    • Harmonization of the upper age for catch-up vaccination in females and males
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review data from HPV vaccine trials on immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety of HPV vaccines
    • Review health economic data on HPV vaccination
    • Review post-licensure safety, vaccine studies, and vaccine impact evaluations to inform vaccine recommendation options
    • Provide evidence-based recommendation options regarding use of HPV vaccines to ACIP
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
    • Identify areas in need of further research for informing potential future vaccine recommendations
  • Work Group Lead: Lauri Markowitz
  • Work Group Chair: Peter Szilagyi

Meningococcal Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Meningococcal disease is a rare but serious bacterial infection. The purpose of the ACIP Meningococcal Vaccines Work Group is to review data on meningococcal vaccines and develop policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • MenB vaccine booster doses for persons aged ≥10 years at increased risk for meningococcal disease
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review available safety, immunogenicity, persistence of antibody protection, and effectiveness data for MenB, MenACWY, and future MenABCWY vaccines
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
    • Review the epidemiology of meningococcal disease and identify areas in need of further research to inform potential future vaccine recommendations
  • Work Group Lead: Sarah Mbaeyi
  • Work Group Chair: David Stephens

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 PCV13 to immunocompetent adults aged ≥65 years
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review evidence for PCV13 use among adults aged ≥65 years
    • Finalize the Evidence to Recommendations framework, including GRADE, incorporating studies after the 2014 ACIP recommendation for PCV13 use among adults aged ≥65 years
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Almea Matanock, Tamara Pilishvili
  • Work Group Chair: Grace Lee

Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Vaccines – Pediatric

  • Work Group Purpose: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of lower respiratory illness, particularly among infants and children and among older adults and adults with chronic medical conditions. The RSV-Pediatric Vaccines Work Group reviews data on RSV vaccines and immune globulin products and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group: Use of RSV vaccine(s) and newly developed immune globulin products in pregnant women and children
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review the epidemiology and burden of RSV disease in children and pregnant women
    • Review efficacy, immunogenicity, safety, and cost-effectiveness of RSV vaccine(s) and immune globulin products in pregnant women and children
    • Identify areas in need of further research for informing potential future vaccine and immune globulin recommendations
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
  • Work Group Lead: Gayle Langley
  • Work Group Chair: Robert Atmar and Peter Szilagyi

Pertussis Vaccines

  • Work Group Purpose: Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a respiratory disease caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria.  The Pertussis Vaccines Work Group reviews data on pertussis vaccines and develops policy options for ACIP’s consideration.
  • Topics under discussion by the Work Group:
    • Use of Td-containing vaccine (Tdap or Td) for the decennial Td booster in adults
    • Use of Td-containing vaccine (Tdap or Td) for tetanus prophylaxis as needed for wound management
  • Work Group activities:
    • Review available data on efficacy, safety, immunogenicity, and cost-effectiveness and to evaluate potential public health impact of multiple Tdap vaccinations in adults
    • Publish ACIP recommendations in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
    • Identify areas in need of further research for informing potential future vaccine recommendations
  • Work Group Lead: Fiona Havers
  • Work Group Chair: Henry Bernstein

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.
    • Present policy options to the ACIP as needed.
  • Work Group activities:
    • Determine the epidemiology and burden of rabies exposures and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) administration in the United States
    • o 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 and Jessie Blanton
  • Work Group Chair: Sharon Frey
Page last reviewed: January 15, 2021