Biggest “Take-Home” From Today’s CDC Briefing on H1N1 Vaccination
Pneumococcal vaccines, which can protect against influenza complications, are underused. And there is no shortage of these vaccines. These facts were relayed by Thomas Frieden in today’s CDC press conference.
The CDC recommends the PCV7 vaccine (Prevnar; Wyeth) routinely for children younger than 2 years of age (1 dose each at 2, 4, 6, and 12-15 months) and older children who have not completed the 4-series vaccination.
The CDC recommends the PPSV23 vaccine (PneumoVax; Merck) for all adults aged 65 years or older and any individual 2-64 years of age with a long-term health problem (eg, diabetes) or a condition that lowers resistance to infection (including therapy). The CDC also recommends the PPSV23 vaccine for adults 19-64 years of age who smoke or have asthma.
Pneumococcal immunization protects against infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common bacterial pathogen in reported fatal cases of H1N1 infection to date.
For authoritative and comprehensive information on this subject, see the CDC web site.
PCV7 = 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; PPSV23 = 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine.
Photomicrograph of S. pneumoniae grown from blood culture from the CDC/Dr. Mike Miller.