The history of the United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Vaccine. 2015 Jan 9;33(3):405-14. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.09.043. Epub 2014 Oct 25.


The United States Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a federal advisory committee that develops written recommendations for use of vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the U.S. civilian population. Vaccine development and disease outbreaks contributed to the need for a systematized, science-based, formal mechanism for establishing national immunization policy in this country. Formed in 1964, the ACIP was charged with this role. The committee has undergone significant changes in structure and operational activities during its 50-year history. The ACIP works closely with many liaison organizations to develop its immunization recommendations, which are harmonized among key professional medical societies. ACIP vaccine recommendations form two immunization schedules, which are updated annually: (1) the childhood and adolescent immunization schedule and (2) the adult immunization schedule. Today, once ACIP recommendations are adopted by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, these recommendations are published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), become official policy, and are incorporated into the appropriate immunization schedule.

Keywords: ACIP; Adult immunization schedule; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; Biologics; Catch-up schedule; Childhood immunization schedule; Harmonized schedule; History; Immunization; Legislation; MMR; Measles; Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Recommendations; Rubella; Vaccination; Vaccine development; Vaccine licensing; Vaccine safety; Vaccines for Children Program; Vaccinology.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Advisory Committees / history*
  • Communicable Disease Control / history*
  • Communicable Disease Control / organization & administration*
  • Health Policy
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / history*
  • United States / epidemiology