Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

Notice to Readers: Pneumococcal Vaccination for Cochlear Implant Recipients

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, in collaboration with state health departments, are investigating the occurrence of bacterial meningitis among cochlear implant recipients (1,2). The implant, as a foreign body, and the design of the electrode are considered possible risk factors. Other potential risk factors for meningitis among cochlear implant recipients include a history of meningitis (a leading cause of sensorineural hearing loss), a history of recurrent otitis media, immunodeficiency, a pre-existing inner ear abnormality, and an occult cerebrospinal fluid leak.

As of October 4, 2002, a total of 53 cases of meningitis were reported in the United States among cochlear implant recipients (2). In the United States, approximately 21,000 persons have cochlear implants (3). Of the 23 cases for which bacterial culture results were available, 16 were caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) (2).

Vaccination against pneumococcal disease is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for persons at increased risk for pneumococcal meningitis. Because preliminary data suggest a higher risk for pneumococcal meningitis in cochlear implant recipients, CDC recommends that all persons with cochlear implants receive age-appropriate vaccination against pneumococcal disease as recommended for other persons at high risk for invasive pneumococcal disease; recommendations will be reviewed after completion of the investigation. These persons should receive the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate (Prevnar®) or 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pneumovax® and Pnu-Imune®) vaccine, or both, according to ACIP schedules for persons at high risk (4,5). During the current pneumococcal conjugate vaccine shortage, children aged <5 years with cochlear implants should be given the same priority for available vaccine as children in other high-risk groups (6). Additional information on the use of vaccines for cochlear implant recipients is available from CDC's National Immunization Program at http://www.cdc.gov/nip/issues/cochlear/cochlear-hcp.htm.

References

  1. CDC. Cochlear implants and meningitis, frequently asked questions. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd.
  2. Food and Drug Administration. Public health web notification: cochlear implant recipients may be at greater risk for meningitis. Available at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/cochlear.html.
  3. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Health information, hearing and balance. Available at http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/pubs_hb/coch.htm.
  4. CDC. Preventing pneumococcal disease among infants and young children: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 2000;49(No. RR-9).
  5. CDC. Prevention of pneumococcal disease: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 1997;46(No. RR-8).
  6. CDC. Updated recommendations on the use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in a setting of vaccine shortage---Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR 2001;50:1140--2.



Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.


All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr) and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to mmwrq@cdc.gov.

 
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #