When is a safe place to get vaccinated?
By Laura Smith / Staff reporterSAN FRANCISCO — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that it would stop vaccinating all people in the United States between ages 1 and 65 years old and people over the age of 65 for three years beginning Dec. 31, 2019.
In a statement released by the CDC, it said the vaccine safety program, which began in 2009, will “reformulate” the vaccine for “those aged 1-65 years, those aged 65 and older, those living in areas where there are no vaccinated persons, and those living at high risk of becoming exposed to vaccine-derived infectious disease.”
“To ensure that vaccines are delivered to those who need them most, CDC will begin vaccinating these individuals in the three-year program in 2019 and 2020, and then re-evaluate vaccine safety for all of our age groups and adults,” the CDC said.
The move is expected to affect nearly 5 million Americans, who are required to be vaccinated for a variety of reasons, including to prevent communicable diseases such as the flu.
“This decision is part of a broader shift toward making vaccines more safe and more widely available to all,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC.
“The CDC is working closely with our partners to ensure the safety of all Americans and their families,” Frieden said.
The move follows a decision to stop vaccinators from taking home doses of the flu shot in 2016.
That decision came after the CDC determined that people who received the shot were at a higher risk for contracting the flu, which is more contagious among those who do not get vaccinated.
This year, the CDC is also requiring vaccine manufacturers to submit to FDA their vaccine safety data and testing results, including testing for vaccine-specific antibodies.
The announcement comes as the Trump administration seeks to repeal a federal law that prohibits the use of funds for the vaccine production and distribution of flu shots.
While the federal law is in place, the U.S. government has not had any flu vaccine manufacturing or distribution facilities open since 2010.
Last year, a bill was introduced in Congress that would have required the CDC to build and operate such facilities, but the measure was defeated by Republican Sens.
Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Ted Cruz of Texas.
At the time, Johnson said that while the bill would have “cost us $5 billion over a decade, it would save $5.5 billion in the short-term and allow the CDC and other federal agencies to continue to work together in order to make sure our nation has the best vaccine available to our children,” Johnson said.