Guidelines Address Vaccination During Pregnancy

June 2, 2008

A new report -- Guiding Principles for Development of ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding -- approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in March, may help standardize procedures for policy formulation and presentation of the rationale and recommendations for the vaccination of pregnant and breast-feeding women, according to an article published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's May 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new report -- Guiding Principles for Development of ACIP Recommendations for Vaccination During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding -- approved by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in March, may help standardize procedures for policy formulation and presentation of the rationale and recommendations for the vaccination of pregnant and breast-feeding women, according to an article published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's May 30 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Carol J. Baker, M.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and members of the ACIP Workgroup on Use of Vaccines During Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding noted that standardizing such procedures has been historically challenging because of a lack of solid evidence.

The new document addresses five key topics: guidance for structure of the background section; guidance for structure and language of recommendations; clarification of the definitions of precautions and contraindications in the context of pregnant and breast-feeding women; suggestions for approaches to policy decision-making in the absence of adequate data; and description of a consistent process to gather expert opinion. It also offers a series of process suggestions.

"These suggestions, while similar to the process generally followed by workgroups, focus specifically on issues related to pregnancy, breast-feeding and decision making in the absence of a strong evidence-base," Baker and colleagues state.

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