2024 Vaccine News You Need Now to Protect Yourself and Others

By Stacy Alcide, RN

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly provides updates on new vaccines and vaccination recommendations as a part of their ongoing efforts to ensure public health. Updates can occur as new vaccines are developed and approved or when changes are made to existing recommendations. In this article, you will find the changes for adults and children for 2024. 

Adult Vaccination Changes

The newest vaccine additions to the schedule include respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines, the Mpox (formerly known as monkeypox) vaccine, and the new 2023-2024 formulation of the updated COVID vaccine (both mRNA and protein-based adjuvanted versions).

RSV Vaccine:

RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms but can be very serious for infants and older adults. There are two versions available. One formula is given to older adults, and one is available for pregnant people. Please speak with your doctor to determine which vaccine is suitable for you.

Older Adults: It is recommended that adults aged ≥60 years may receive a single dose of the RSV vaccine.

Pregnant People: A pregnant person is recommended to get the RSV vaccine between 32–36 weeks of pregnancy to protect your infant after birth.

Mpox Vaccine:

Mpox is a virus that is related to the smallpox virus but with milder symptoms (i.e., a rash that may be located on hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth or near the genitals, including penis, testicles, labia, and vagina, and anus that look like pimples or blisters). It is spread by close contact.

All adults 18 and older in any age group at increased risk of getting Mpox should get a two-dose vaccine series. Dose one is administered, and the second is given four weeks later. Those at increased risk include gay, bisexual, nonbinary, transgender, or other individuals who have developed a sexually transmitted disease within the last six months, had more than one sexual partner, or engaged in sex in a commercial sex venue or public space with confirmed Mpox transmission. Please speak with your doctor to determine which vaccine is suitable for you.

COVID Vaccines:

The updated 2023-2024 formula of the COVID-19 vaccines is available. Everyone 6 months or older needs a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine. Specifics of who needs what (and when) depend on what they have already received and their immune status. Please speak with your doctor.

Children’s Vaccination Changes:

The 2024 immunization schedule has been released for children and includes new recommendations for RSV, COVID-19, Influenza, meningococcal, pneumococcal, and poliovirus vaccines.

RSV Vaccine

Infants: Infants born between October and March in most of the United States are eligible for RSV immunization within 14 days of birth if the pregnant parent did not receive an RSV vaccine during pregnancy or if the parent received the vaccine in the 14 days before birth. For infants born between April and September, RSV immunization is recommended before the start of RSV season.

Immunization is also recommended for infants who were hospitalized for conditions such as prematurity after birth between October and March, infants aged 8-19 months who are undergoing medical support related to prematurity, infants aged 8-19 months who are severely immunocompromised, and infants aged 9-19 months who are American Indian or Alaska Native, and infants undergoing cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.


Unvaccinated children between 6 months and four years of age can receive the 2023-2024 COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, including the two-dose Moderna vaccine and three-dose Pfizer vaccine. 

Previously vaccinated children can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from the 2023-2024 formulation, and children between 5-11 years old and 12-18 years old can receive a single dose of an mRNA vaccine regardless of vaccine history; unvaccinated children 12-18 years old are also eligible to receive the two-dose vaccine.

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine:

Children 6 months and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. For influenza, note that children with an egg allergy can receive another vaccine recommended for their age group without safety concerns.

Meningococcal (MenACWY-MenB) Vaccine:

This new single-dose combination vaccine is administered to prevent meningococcal disease. The CDC recommends that children ten years or older getting MenACWY and MenB vaccines at the same visit can receive this single-dose combination.

Pneumococcal Vaccine:

The pneumococcal vaccine PCV13 has been completely removed from the schedule, and updates have been made to the PCV15, PCV20, and PPSV23 vaccines.

Polio Vaccine:

The poliovirus virus has a revision to complete the vaccination series in adolescents 18 years old known or suspected to have an incomplete series.

In summary, the CDC updates vaccine recommendations every year and when changes are necessary to keep pace with the changing health threats. It’s important to talk with your doctor to determine which vaccine is best for you based on your health. This helps ensure you get the proper protection and keeps everyone healthier. 

*For a complete list of adult vaccinations, please follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html

**For a complete list of childhood vaccinations, please follow this link: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/downloads/child/0-18yrs-child-combined-schedule.pdf

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