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Pneumococcal Vaccines for Adults: The Devil is Still in the Details

Pneumococcal Vaccines for Adults: The Devil is Still in the Details Terry Brenneman, MD

Terry Brenneman, MD

In January 2023 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new recommendations for pneumococcal vaccination in adults that incorporate the new conjugate vaccines PCV15 and PCV20. All adults over the age of 65 years need to be vaccinated and persons aged 19 to 64 years with certain underlying conditions need to be vaccinated.

There are 2 options for the adult aged ≥65 years who has not had a previous pneumococcal vaccine: PCV15 followed by PPSV23 a year later (8 weeks if immune compromised) or a single dose of PCV20.

The recommendations for pneumococcal vaccination are a little more confusing for adults younger than age 65. The CDC recommends that 2 populations in this age group be vaccinated: those with certain immunocompromising conditions and those with certain medical conditions.

The 4 questions that follow will reveal how familiar you are with the conditions that mandate recommending a pneumococcal vaccine for patients younger than age 65 years.

Question 1. Which of the following conditions is/are an indication for pneumococcal vaccination in this age group?

Question 2. Which of these conditions is an indication for pneumococcal vaccination in persons younger than 65 years?

Question 3. Which of the following individuals with asthma needs to be immunized against invasive pneumococcal disease?

Question 4. Which of the following drugs is/are not considered sufficiently immunosuppressive to require a recipient to receive a pneumococcal vaccination?

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