Uptake of the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) in England during 2019/2020 was slightly higher, but coverage was slightly lower than the previous season, according to the latest data from Public Health England (PHE).
Coverage of PPV in adults aged 65 years and over, vaccinated any time up to and including 31 March 2020, was 0.2 per cent lower compared with 2018/2019 and 0.5 per cent lower than 2017/2018, the report shows.
The proportion of adults aged 65 years on 31 March 2020 who were vaccinated between 1 April 2019 and 31 March 2020 was 12.9 per cent compared with 12.4 per cent in 2018/2019 and 11.8 per cent in 2017/2018.
Total PPV coverage was 69.0 per cent in all patients aged 65 years and over, immunised at any time up to 31 March 2020 in England, rising to 82.4 per cent for those aged 75 years and over, the report states. The proportion immunised in the last 12 months for these two age groups was 3.8 per cent and 1.4 per cent, respectively.
PPV coverage among people aged 65 years and over has remained relatively constant, between 69.0 per cent and 70.1 per cent for the past six years, despite the national vaccine shortage in 2017 affecting uptake in 65-year-olds who became eligible in 2017/2018 (unless they were in a high-risk group), PHE noted.
Data indicate that many of those eligible for PPV vaccination do not receive the vaccine in the first year that they become eligible but in the subsequent years, with additional uptake gradually decreasing with age, the report said.
Meanwhile, PPV coverage for patients aged between two years and 64 years in risk groups varied between 26.2 per cent (chronic liver disease) and 76.5 per cent (cochlear implants) during 2019/2020.
The proportion of GP practices participating in the PPV survey remains stable and representative and was at least 95 per cent for the sixth consecutive year.