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For Immediate Release: June 22, 2000
Contact: CDC Media Relations (404) 639-3286
Flu Season 2000-01: PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINE
Streptococcus pneumiae is a bacteria that causes pneumococcal disease in adults and children worldwide. Each year in the United States, pneumococcal diseases account for approximately 50,000 cases of bloodstream infection (bacteremia), 3,000 cases of meningitis, 100,000 to 175,000 hospitalizations from pneumonia, and 7 million cases of otitis media (ear infections).
Pneumococcal pneumonia begins with a high fever, cough, and stabbing chest pains, and is one of the most common causes of death in the United States.
Pneumococcal pneumonia accounts for 25%-35% of all pneumonias leading to hospitalization; resulting in 7,000 to 13,000 deaths per year in the United States.
Between 20,000 and 40,000 deaths are attributed to flu and pneumonia in the United States each year. More than 90 percent of the deaths occur in people age 65 and older. Among elderly nursing home residents, pneumococcal vaccination is 60 to 70 percent effective in preventing invasive (bacterial) infection.
Pneumococcal vaccine is 60% to 70% effective in preventing bacteremic pneumococcal infections in adults and children at least 2 years of age. Pneumococcal vaccine can be given at the same time as a flu shot (by separate injection in the other arm). Flu shots must be taken annually, while pneumococcal revaccination varies depending upon the person's age and other factors.
Who should receive pneumococcal vaccine?
- Persons 65 years old or older. Revaccination is not recommended.
- Persons 2-64 years of age with chronic cardiovascular disease (including congestive heart failure), chronic pulmonary disease (e.g., emphysema), or diabetes. Asthma is not an indication for routine pneumococcal vaccination unless it occurs with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or long-term systemic corticosteroid use. However, persons with obstructive lung disease should be vaccinated regardless of the cause. If a person received their first pneumococcal shot prior to age 65 years, they should be revaccinated at age 65, if >5 years have elapsed since the previous dose.
- Persons 2-64 years of age suffering from alcoholism, chronic liver disease (including cirrhosis), or cerebrospinal fluid leaks. If a person received their first pneumococcal shot prior to age 65 years, they should be revaccinated at age 65, if >5 years have elapsed since the previous dose.
- Persons 2-64 years of age with sickle cell disease or splenectomy (damaged or no spleen). If the person is >10 years of age, they should be revaccinated if >5 years have elapsed. If the person is <10 years of age, they should be revaccinated 3 years later.
- Immunocompromised persons >2 years of age, including those with HIV infection, Hodgkin's disease; multiple myeloma; cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs; treatment with long-term steroids; bone marrow or organ transplant; kidney failure; HIV/AIDS; lymphoma, leukemia, or other cancers; and nephrotic syndrome. Revaccinate children if >5 years have elapsed since they got their first dose. If the child is <10 years of age, consider revaccination 3 years after previous dose.
- Persons who are Alaskan Native or from certain Native American populations.
- Children <2 years old should receive the recently licensed pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar'. Older children (24 to 59 months old), who are at high risk for infection (including those with sickle cell anemia, HIV infection, chronic lung or heart disease), and those who are Alaskan Natives, American Indians, or African American should also receive Prevnar'. This vaccine should also be considered for children 24 to 59 months old who are in group day care, those who have had frequent or complicated episodes of acute otitis media (ear infections) during the past year, or children who are socially or economically disadvantaged. The number and timing of doses depends on the age at which vaccination starts. Most children who are >2 years of age only need one dose of the vaccine.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
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