Health & Wellness

Updated Recommendations for Pneumococcal Shots

By Wendy Haaf

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has updated its recommendations concerning pneumococcal vaccination in adults aged 65 or older. (These vaccines protect against pneumonia and other invasive diseases—including meningitis and sepsis—caused by multiple strains of the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium.)

While experts have been advising people in this age group to get vaccinated against pneumococcal disease for decades, until now, the recommended shots belonged to a class called polysaccharide vaccines.

Now, NACI is advocating switching to newer conjugate vaccines, which provide longer-lasting protection than the older variety. The recommendation is now a single dose of the conjugate vaccine known as Prevnar 20 for all adults aged 65 or older (including most of those who’ve already received an older-generation jab) and those aged 50 to 64 who have medical conditions (such as chronic lung disease, diabetes, or cancer) that place them at high risk for invasive pneumo- coccal disease.

Source: National Advisory Committee on Immunization