Pneumococcal vaccine: uptake remains low among elderly

Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

Takeaway

  • Despite data demonstrating the efficacy of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in conjunction with a 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) series in adults ≥65 y, uptake and related Medicare claims have been persistently low.

Why this matters

  • Clinicians are encouraged to ensure adult patients ≥65 y, especially Medicare (Parts A, B) beneficiaries who are Hispanic/non-Hispanic black, impoverished, and/or free of chronic/immunocompromised disease, routinely initiate and complete the ACIP-recommended vaccination series.
  • Only 2 pneumococcal vaccines are approved for use in adults in the United States: PCV 13 (which was fast-tracked through the FDA because of its benefit over existing treatments) and the PCV23 series.

Study design

  • This study identified vaccination coverage (PCV13/ PPSV23) from September 2009 to 2016 through estimated claims for vaccination among adults aged ≥65 y.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Key results

  • By 2016, 43.2% Medicare beneficiaries received ≥1 doses PPSV23 and 31.5% received ≥1 doses PCV13.
  • 18.3% patients had at least 1 claim for both PPSV23 and PCV13.
  • Although 2014 recommendations suggest using PCV13 in series with PPSV23, claims by adults ≥65 y have been persistently low.
  • Claims were lower among healthy persons and lower age group (65–69 y).

Limitations

  • Medicare claims as a proxy for vaccination coverage.

Coauthored with Chitra Ravi, MPharm