A critical government advisory committee charged with charting U.S. vaccination policy appears to be atrophying, jeopardizing timely decision-making on how vaccines should be used in this country.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which has in recent years been a 15-person panel, has eight vacancies — one of which dates back more than a year. The other seven members’ terms ended in July, though they were extended through the year because they had no replacements. There is no chairperson.
Four of the seven remaining members are due to finish their terms at the end of June, a cumulative exodus of expertise that will create what followers of the ACIP’s work believe is an unprecedented level of inexperience on the committee. Historically, three or four new members have been appointed to four-year terms every July, ensuring the roster always includes a mix of seasoned and new members.