Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Immunizations and Vaccinations

In a continuing effort to provide families with information regarding adoption related issues, following is a link to an article "International Travel with Infants and Children" in the 2012 Yellow Book published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The article outlines vaccination and immunization recommendations for families before they travel, as well as expectations and suggested guidelines regarding the adopted child's vaccination and immunization schedule. Click here for the CDC article.

Although there are guidelines governing immunizations and vaccinations, as documented in the CDC's article, more than 90% of newly arrived internationally adopted children need catch-up immunizations to meet the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines.

During the US visa issuance stage at the end of the adoption trip, adopted children under the age of 10 are exempt from the immunization requirements that otherwise apply to persons immigrating to the United States. Instead, the US CIS requires adoptive parents to sign a notarized affidavit indicating their intention to comply with the immunization requirements within 30 days of the child's arrival in the United States. The article suggests immunizations should be given according to the current ACIP schedule for catch-up vaccination, and if the infant is less than 6 months old and there is uncertainty regarding immunization status or validity of immunization record, the child should be reimmunized according to the ACIP schedule. As always, the course of action for each child is a personal decision that should be made with your pediatric physician or specialist.

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