Prevnar & Pneumovax – Pneumonia Vaccinations

The CDC recommends vaccination with Pneumovax 23 alone for everyone at or after age 65 and for people age 19 through 64 who are at increased risk for pneumococcal infection. People in the latter group can receive more than one dose of the vaccine. However, once you have received a dose of Pneumovax 23 at or after age 65—whether it is your initial dose or a subsequent dose—there is no need for an additional dose of it.

The new ACIP proposal recommends vaccination with both Pneumovax 23 and Prevnar 13 for all adults, regardless of age, who are considered to be at greatly increased risk of infection. According to ACIP, the combination regimen is likely to provide greater protection against S. pneumoniae than either vaccine alone.

The dosing schedule that follows is recommended for people at greatly increased risk. Again, once you’ve received a dose of Pneumovax 23 at or after age 65, there is no need for more doses. If you have not previously received Prevnar 13 or Pneumovax 23 and are at greatly increased risk, ACIP recommends:

    • a dose of Prevnar 13
    • a dose of Pneumovax 23 after at least eight weeks have passed
    • a second dose of Pneumovax 23 after at least five years have passed

If you have previously received one dose of Pneumovax 23, ACIP recommends:

    • a dose of Prevnar 13 no sooner than one year after the Pneumovax 23 dose
    • a second dose of Pneumovax 23 no sooner than five years after the initial Pneumovax 23 dose and after allowing at least eight weeks to pass following the Prevnar 13 dose

If you have previously received two doses of Pneumovax 23, ACIP recommends:

    • a dose of Prevnar 13 after at least one year has passed.
    • a third dose of Pneumovax 23 after at least five years have passed since your previous dose of Pneumovax 23 and eight weeks since your Prevnar 13 dose

If you received three doses of Pneumovax 23 (the third dose would have been given at or after age 65), ACIP recommends:

    • a dose of Prevnar 13 after at least one year has passed since the last dose of Pneumovax 23

Article courtesy of healthcommunities.com. See more at: http://www.healthcommunities.com/evaluating-lung-problems/pneumonococcal-vaccine-types_jhmwp.shtml#sthash.4h4WaNkA.dpuf

Flu Season

Flu vaccine may be more effective this year, CDC says

The CBS Evening News (9/17, story 12, 1:45, Pelley) reported that this year’s influenza vaccine may be more effective than last year’s. According to Dr. Jon Lapook, “Last year, the vaccine was only 23% effective because the predominant strain mutated after the vaccine had already been manufactured.” CDC “officials say this year’s flu vaccine is well-matched right now to circulating viruses.”

The Los Angeles Times (9/18, Kaplan) reports that this year, “flu watchdogs at the CDC have scrutinized 199 flu specimens collected in the United States and elsewhere between May 24 and Sept. 5.” They found that “the majority of those specimens – 118 of them – were H3N2 viruses, and all of them were built in a way that should make them vulnerable to this year’s vaccines.”

McClatchy (9/18, Mueller) reports that “by including components of H3N2 in this season’s flu vaccine, health care professionals hope to raise vaccine effectiveness against predominant strains back up to the 50 to 60% range.”

The AP (9/18, Neergaard) reports that, “all told, at least 171 million doses of flu vaccine are expected this year.”