CDC Issues Simplified New Recommendations for Pneumococcal Vaccination in Adults

Updated pneumococcal vaccine recommendations for adults were issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling for the use of two recently approved vaccines in a more simplified approach than previous recommendations. The changes address concerns about complexities with respect to patients’ age and certain health conditions or risk factors that were included in the previous recommendations, which were considered confusing and challenging to implement.

The new recommendations call for the use of the 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV15; Vaxneuvance) or 20-valent PCV (PCV20; Prevnar 20). The recommendations apply to PCV-naïve adults who are either aged 65 or older or who are 19 to 64 years of age and have underlying conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart or liver disease, or HIV, and have not previously received a PCV or whose previous vaccination history is unknown. Eligible adults may receive either PCV15 in series with the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) or PCV20 alone.

If the PCV15 vaccine is used, a subsequent dose of PPSV23 (Pneumovax23) should be provided, typically at least one year later, according to the new recommendations.