Updated Pneumonia Vaccine Guidelines

On August 13, 2014, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended routine use of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) among adults aged ≥65 years. PCV13 should be administered in series with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).  PPSV23 has been the standard recommendation for adults over 65 so this this new recommendation is a major change.  People reaching age 65 will now get the PCV13 vaccine first followed 6 to 12 months later by the PPSV23 vaccine.  If someone has already had the PPSV23 vaccine first, they are now recommended to get the PCV13 vaccine.  Studies found this to provide overall better prevention of pneumonia.  Both vaccines are covered Medicare part B with no copay to the patient.