These recommendations have been in the works for a long time. What the CDC didn’t mention is that Medicare hasn’t decided whether to pay for the PCV13 vaccine or not. Patients anxious to get the vaccine are getting confusing information from pharmacies. Some are trying to give them the PPSV23 when the ask for the PCV13 which goes by the brand name Prevnar. Until the dust settles, I’m not ordering any.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13,Prevnar) and the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23,Pneumovax) should be routinely administered in series to all adults who are at least 65 years of age, the CDC announced last week.
Adults in this age group who have not previously received a pneumococcal vaccine or who do not know their vaccination history should receive a dose of PCV13, followed by a dose of PPSV23 6 to 12 months later. The 2 vaccines should not be administered together, and the minimum acceptable interval between them is 8 weeks, the ACIP said.
Adults in this age group who have previously received 1 or more doses of PPSV23 should receive a dose of PCV13 if they not already done so. This dose should be given at least 1 year after the most recent PPSV23 dose was received. Patients in whom another dose of PPSV23 is indicated should receive it 6 to 12 months after PCV13 and 5 or more years after the most recent dose of PPSV23.
The recommendations were published in the Sept. 19 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly.