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Technically Speaking
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December 2019
Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
IAC Executive Director Dr. Deborah Wexler writes Technically Speaking, a column featured in each issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Professionals, the monthly e-newsletter from the Vaccine Education Center (VEC) at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as vaccine administration techniques, storage and handling, contraindications and precautions, and scheduling.
Subscribe to VEC's Vaccine Update for Healthcare Professionals to stay up to date on vaccine-related issues, including reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, and announcements about new resources and webinars. To subscribe, visit the Vaccine Update Newsletter Sign-up Form
The archive of past Technically Speaking columns is also available through links on the right side of this web page.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
ACIP Updates Its Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations for Adults Age 65 Years and Older
Published December 2019
On November 22, CDC published Use of 13-Valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine and 23-Valent Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine among Adults Aged >65 Years: Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR 68[46]:1069).

This document updates ACIP's 2014 statement which recommended routine use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in series with pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) for all adults in this age range. Since that time, the incidence of PCV13-type disease has been reduced to historically low levels among adults age >65 through indirect effects from pediatric PCV13 use. Because of this changing epidemiology, ACIP has updated its recommendations on PCV13 vaccine scheduling in older adults and incorporated the concept of shared clinical decision-making, as summarized below.

New Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations for Adults Age >65 Years Old

  • PCV13. PCV13 vaccination is no longer routinely recommended for all adults age >65 years. Instead, shared clinical decision-making for PCV13 use is recommended for persons age >65 years who do not have an immunocompromising condition, CSF leak, or cochlear implant and who have not previously received PCV13.
     
  • CDC guidance for shared clinical decision-making*. When patients and vaccine providers engage in shared clinical decision-making for PCV13 use to determine whether PCV13 is right for the specific individual age >65 years, considerations may include the individual patient's risk for exposure to PCV13 serotypes and the risk for pneumococcal disease for that person as a result of underlying medical conditions.

*Considerations for shared clinical decision-making.

  • PCV13 is a safe and effective vaccine for older adults. The risk for PCV13-type disease among adults age >65 years is much lower than it was before the pediatric program was implemented, as a result of indirect PCV13 effects (by preventing carriage and, thereby, transmission of PCV13-type strains). The remaining risk is a function of each individual patient's risk for exposure to PCV13 serotypes and the influence of underlying medical conditions on the patient's risk for developing pneumococcal disease if exposure occurs.
     
  • The following adults age >65 years are potentially at increased risk for exposure to PCV13 serotypes and might attain higher than average benefit from PCV13 vaccination, and providers/practices caring for many patients in these groups may consider regularly offering PCV13 to their patients age >65 years who have not previously received PCV13:
     
    • Persons residing in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
    • Persons residing in settings with low pediatric PCV13 uptake
    • Persons traveling to settings with no pediatric PCV13 program
       
  • Incidence of PCV13-type invasive pneumococcal disease and pneumonia increases with increasing age and is higher among persons with chronic heart, lung, or liver disease, diabetes, or alcoholism, and those who smoke cigarettes or who have more than one chronic medical condition. Although indirect effects from pediatric PCV13 use were documented for these groups of adults and were comparable to those observed among healthy adults, the residual PCV13- type disease burden remains higher in these groups. Providers/practices caring for patients with these medical conditions may consider offering PCV13 to such patients who are age >65 years and who have not previously received PCV13.
  • Scheduling when PCV13 is used. If a decision to administer PCV13 is made, it should be administered before PPSV23. The recommended intervals between pneumococcal vaccines remain unchanged for adults without an immunocompromising condition, CSF leak, or cochlear implant (>1 year between pneumococcal vaccines, regardless of the order in which they were received). PCV13 and PPSV23 should not be coadministered. (Note: ACIP continues to recommend PCV13 in series with PPSV23 for adults age >19 years [including those age ≥65 years] with immunocompromising conditions, CSF leaks, or cochlear implants.)
     
  • PPSV23 for all adults age >65 years. ACIP continues to recommend that all adults age >65 years routinely receive 1 dose of PPSV23. PPSV23 contains 12 serotypes in common with PCV13 and an additional 11 serotypes for which there are no indirect effects from PCV13 use in children. The additional 11 serotypes account for 32%–37% of invasive pneumococcal disease among adults age >65 years. Adults age >65 years who received >1 dose of PPSV23 before age 65 years should receive 1 additional dose of PPSV23 at age >65 years, at least 5 years after the previous PPSV23 dose.

Access the full MMWR article to review the updated recommendations in their entirety.

The archive of past Technically Speaking columns is also available through links on the right side of this web page.
 
This page was updated on December 30, 2019.
This page was reviewed on December 30, 2019.
2019 ISSUES >> view all issues
DECEMBER 2019
ACIP Updates Its Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommendations for Adults Age 65 Years and Older
NOVEMBER 2019
ACIP Votes to Approve That Tdap and Td Vaccines May Now Be Used Interchangeably
OCTOBER 2019
CDC Updates Recommendations on the Use of HPV Vaccine
SEPTEMBER 2019
"Dear Colleague" Call-to-Action Letter from AAFP, AAP, ACHA, ACOG, APhA, SAHM, and IAC Stresses Importance of Implementing Immunization Visit at 16 Years of Age
AUGUST 2019
Newly designed and easy to navigate—visit Give2MenACWY.org to enhance your efforts to increase rates for MenACWY booster doses and other adolescent vaccinations
JULY 2019
ACIP Updates Its Guidance on the Use of HPV, PCV13, HepA, HPV, and MenB Vaccines at June 26–27 Meeting
JUNE 2019
Looking for New Tools and Resources to Help Increase Your Clinic's HPV Vaccination Rates? Here Are Some Great Ones!
MAY 2019
How to Protect Children, Adults, and Healthcare Personnel from Measles
APRIL 2019
Refresher! Use of Pneumococcal Vaccines in Infants and Children, as well as in Children with Health Conditions
MARCH 2019
With Measles "Breaking Out" All over the United States, Here Are Some Good Educational Resources
FEBRUARY 2019
Questions about Proper Vaccine Storage and Handling? CDC's Redesigned Toolkit Has Answers!
JANUARY 2019
Want to Avoid Vaccination Errors? These Print Materials and Slide Sets Will Help You!
    >> view all issues
 
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