The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking public comment on a set of proposed criteria to be used in determining which vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the general United States population should be required for immigrants seeking admission into the United States or seeking adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1182), an alien who seeks admission as an immigrant, or who seeks adjustment of status to one lawfully admitted for permanent residence, must present documentation for having received vaccination for “vaccinepreventable diseases,” which shall include (1) mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type B and hepatitis B (together, the Explicit Vaccinations), and (2) any other vaccinations against vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the ACIP (the Recommended Vaccinations). Any immigrant or applicant applying for adjustment of status who is unable to present proof of vaccination is inadmissible into the U.S. unless he or she receives a waiver from a medical examiner.

The CDC will continue to require the Explicit Vaccinations for immigrants seeking admission into the United States or seeking to adjust their status to that of legal permanent resident. However, the continued evolution of vaccine development has led the CDC to reassess whether it is appropriate to require Recommended Vaccinations in the immigration context. For the Recommended Vaccinations, the CDC has developed specific criteria to determine which others will be required for such immigrants. The CDC is seeking comment on the use of the following criteria:  

  1. The vaccine must be an age-appropriate vaccine as recommended by ACIP for the general U.S. population, and  
  2. At least one of the following:  
  1. The vaccine must protect against a disease that has the potential to cause an outbreak; or  
  2. The vaccine must protect against a disease that has been eliminated in the United States, or is in the process for elimination in the United States.  

Written comments must be received on or before May 8, 2009 and may be submitted to the following address: Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ATTN: Immigration Vaccination Requirements, 1600 Clifton Road, NE., MS E-03, Atlanta, GA, 30333. Comments also may be submitted via e-mail to DGMQpubliccomments@cdc.gov.