Counseling Your Adult Patients about the Pneumococcal Vaccine


Stephan Foster, PharmD, FAPhA, who is the American Pharmacists' Association liaison to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices sat down with Total Pharmacy at the APHA meeting in March to discuss the use of Prevnar 13 use in adults for the prevention of Streptococcus pneumoniae.

According to the CDC, "the incidence and mortality rate of pneumococcal disease tend to increase after age 50, and these increases are more often seen after age 65.8 The vaccine regimen for individuals older than 65 years involves 2 vaccines: the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), Pneumovax, and the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), Prevnar."


Stephan Foster, PharmD, FAPhA: In 2014, the ACIP made some recommendations to actually add Prevnar 13, a pneumococcal vaccine for the use in adults over the age of 65 along with the caveat that by 2018 we would start looking at whether it was still needed. The incidence of disease has dropped off due to vaccination of the baby so we're evaluating currently whether the policy should be to continue to use that vaccine in adults over the age of 65 or stop it. There's a big debate going on with that right now. 

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