The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on October 20, 2021, to review current evidence and provide updated pneumococcal vaccine recommendations for adults. During this meeting two votes occurred: one regarding a risk-based recommendation for adults 19 years of age and older and one for an age-based recommendation for adults 65 years of age and older; both votes passed unanimously.
On January 27, 2022, the CDC published the new recommendations of the pneumococcal vaccine for all adults 19 years or older who have not previously received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous vaccination history is unknown. CDC now recommends PCV15 or PCV20 for adults 19 through 64 years old with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors and all adults 65 years or older. To review in further detail, including clinical guidance surrounding this recommendation, the complete policy note can be found here.
Highlights of the new recommendations include:
- Everyone 65 years or older should receive a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, either PCV15 or PCV20. If PCV15 is used, this should be followed by a dose of PPSV23. This means there is no longer a shared clinical decision-making recommendation for this age group.
- Everyone 19 through 64 years or older with certain underlying medical conditions or other risk factors should receive a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, either PCV15 or PCV20. If PCV15 is used, this should be followed by a dose of PPSV23. There is no longer a complex set of recommendations that depend on which condition a patient has; the same recommendation applies regardless of which underlying medical condition or other risk factor is present.
- These new recommendations apply to all adults who have not previously received a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or whose previous vaccination history is unknown.
The 2022 Adult Immunization Schedule, that is set to be released on February 18, will reflect these changes.
Comprehensive immunization programs, which include the promotion and administration of routine vaccines for adults, contribute to the overall health of communities. The updated pneumococcal vaccine recommendations and clinical guidance further bolster efforts which continue to provide the best protection in preventing serious diseases, like pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections. Local health departments are key in the implementation of updated vaccine recommendations by providing patient and provider education as well as supporting vaccine delivery and administration systems.