Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

WHO recommendations for routine immunization - summary tables

In order to assist programme managers develop optimal immunization schedules WHO has compiled key information on its current routine immunization recommendations into three summary tables.

Table 1 summarizes recommended routine immunizations for all age groups - children, adolescents, and adults. As such, it provides an overview of vaccine recommendations across the lifespan, including both primary series and booster doses.

Table 2 provides detailed information for routine immunizations for children, including age at first dose and intervals. It reiterates recommendations on the primary series and booster doses.

In Table 3, WHO has consolidated its recommendations for interrupted and delayed vaccination. These irregular situations can be challenging to health workers who may not know what to do.

Table 4 summarizes WHO’s recommendations for the vaccination of health care workers.

It is important to note that these recommendations are only a compilation of existing WHO routine immunization recommendations in a new format. All the recommendations come from WHO Position Papers that are published in the Weekly Epidemiological Record. The tables are updated as soon as any new WHO recommendation is published.

The tables are designed for use by national immunization managers and key decision-makers, chairs and members of national advisory committees on immunization, and partner organizations, including industry.

The tables are not intended for direct use by health workers. Rather their purpose is to aid technical decisions with respect to the national vaccination schedule.

By consolidating its many recommendations into summary tables, WHO hopes to provide easy access to its policy advice and support national immunization programmes to critically examine, and possibly modify, their schedules.

It is hoped that the tables will prove useful in highlighting disparities among countries and in bringing awareness to recommendations that do not get followed. Several countries are appropriately providing additional vaccine antigens, but they lag behind in providing the adequate number of doses or booster doses for traditional vaccines and give little consideration to older age groups. These tables can help drive action towards the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) objective to equitably extend the benefits of immunization to all children, adolescents and adults.

WHO would like to receive feedback on the content and format of these tables.

Note: A short "Orientation Guide" has been developed as a companion piece to facilitate the use of the WHO summary tables.

Last updated: 3 April 2017