Score a Vaccination Touchdown with Pneumococcal Vaccines

by Crystal Welch, MSN, HHQI RN Project Coordinator

quarterback-73614_960_720We may be a few weeks away from the kickoff of football season, but now is the time to get your vaccination game started since August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports pneumococcal disease kills thousands of adults annually, including 18,000 adults aged 65 and older.

  • Pneumococcal pneumonia (lungs) kills about 1 out of 20 who contracts the disease.
  • Pneumococcal bacteremia (bloodstream) kills about 1 out of 6 who contracts the disease.
  • Pneumococcal meningitis (lining of the brain and spinal cord) kills about 1 out of 6 who contracts the disease.

There are two types of pneumococcal vaccines currently available which are PCV13 (brand name Prevnar 13®) and PPSV23 (brand name Pneumovax 23®). PCV13 is recommended for all adults age 65 and older, adults age 19 and older with certain health conditions, and adults 19 and over who are taking medicine that lowers resistance to infection. PPSV23 is recommended for all adults age 65 and older, adults with certain health conditions or who smoke, and adults 19 or older who have a lower resistance to fight infection. All adults aged 65 years and older should receive both PCV13 and PPSV23 as long as they have no contraindication for vaccination. The vaccinations need to be separated into two separate visits according to the vaccine schedule. If a person has not received any pneumococcal vaccines, then they should first receive PCV13 followed by PPSV23 at least one year later. If a person has already received PPSV23, the dose of PCV13 should be given at least one year after they got their most recent dose of PPSV23.

72969667The CDC recommends that everyone at this age, as well as those in a high risk group, get vaccinated against pneumonia twice in their lives. Because having the flu increases your chances of getting pneumococcal disease, it is important to get the influenza (flu) vaccine each flu season.

So how can we as homecare providers play a key role in increasing pneumococcal vaccination? Check out the HHQI Resources listed below for tools and resources:

Additional Resources:

Remember, if you or a loved one is age 65 or older, getting vaccinated against pneumococcal disease is the best defense for your game!

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This entry was posted in Adult Immunizations, Education, National Health Observance and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Score a Vaccination Touchdown with Pneumococcal Vaccines

  1. Terri Lindsey says:

    Great information! It can be confusing for clinicians to decide the sequence of these two important vaccinations, but you did a great job explaining. I want to know what football team????

  2. Misty Kevech says:

    Thanks Terri for the reply! It definitely can be confusing!

  3. Thank you Terri Lindsey for your comment. Also – I failed to mention that both vaccines are “inactivated” meaning they aren’t live vaccines.

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