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ACIP favors shared decision on pneumococcal vaccine for older adults



Pneumococcal vaccination with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) based on shared clinical decision making is recommended for immunocompetent adults aged 65 years and older who have not previously received PCV13, and all adults aged 65 years and older should continue to receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23), according to a vote at a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

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The motion passed with an 11-1 vote after members voted down two other options to either discontinue or continue the current recommendation of PCV13 for all immunocompetent adults aged 65 years and older. The current recommendation for PCV13 for adults aged 65 years and older has been in place since 2014.

The pneumococcal work group assessed indirect effects of the pediatric PCV vaccination on older adults prior to 2014 and since 2014, and what additional benefits might be expected if routine vaccination of older adults continued.

“Indirect effects have been observed in all age groups” said Almea Matanock, MD, of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Although there were no safety concerns, the public health impact of continued vaccination of adults was minimal.

Although PCV13 resulted in a 75% reduction in vaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease and a 45% reduction in vaccine-type nonbacteremic pneumonia in 2014, the annual number needed to vaccinate to prevent a single case of outpatient pneumonia was 2,600, said Dr. Matanock.

Dr. Matanock presented key issues from the Evidence to Recommendations Framework for and against the recommendation for PCV13 in older adults. Work group comments in favor of continuing the recommendation for PCV13 in older adults included effective disease prevention and the potential negative impact on the importance of adult vaccines if the vaccine was no longer recommended. However, some work group members and committee members expressed concern about resource allocation and steering vaccines away from younger age groups in whom they have been more consistently effective.

Paul Hunter, MD, of the City of Milwaukee Health Department, voted against the shared clinical decision making, and instead favored discontinuing the recommendation for PCV13 for older adults. “I think clinicians need a clear message,” he said, adding that “the public health bang for the buck is with the kids.”

“I think there was a recognition that the population level benefit is minimal,” said work group chair Grace Lee, MD.

Although the work group recognized some benefit for older adults, the burden of disease for PCV-specific disease is low, compared with all-cause pneumonia, said Dr. Lee of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Calif. However, the recommendation for shared clinical decision making allows for potential insurance coverage of the vaccine for adults who decide after discussion with their health care provider that they would benefit.

“We are still unpacking this construct” of shared clinical decision making, which in this case applies to adults without immunocompromising conditions, and is more of a provider assessment than a risk assessment, she said.

The ACIP members had no financial conflicts to disclose.

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