Vaccines and Preventable Diseases:
PCV13 (Pneumococcal Conjugate) Vaccine
Questions and answers for health care professionals about PCV13 for children
How is PCV13 different from PCV7?
PCV13 and PCV7 are manufactured in a similar fashion and PCV13 will replace PCV7 for prevention of pneumococcal disease in children. Because PCV7 has been used since 2000 there is now significantly less pneumococcal disease caused by the seven strains. Even though there is less disease overall, other strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae that are not in PCV7 have become more common. PCV13 includes 6 additional serotypes, protecting against more disease than PCV7. In particular, PCV13 vaccine protects against serotype 19A, which has become the most common pneumococcal serotype and is often resistant to antibiotics.
Should children who already received the full 4-dose vaccine series of PCV7 be vaccinated with additional dose(s) of PCV13?
Yes, children 12 through 59 months of age who are fully vaccinated with 4 doses of PCV 7 should receive a single, supplemental dose of PCV13 no sooner than 8 weeks after the last dose of PCV7. It does not matter whether a child received the PCV7 doses on time or used a catch-up schedule and may have received less than 4 doses as part of an age-appropriate complete schedule. For older children (up through 71 months) who have an underlying medical condition (e.g., sickle cell disease, HIV infection, or other immunocompromising condition) and are completely vaccinated with PCV7, a single dose of PCV13 is recommended.
Should children who are only partially vaccinated with PCV7 (3 or fewer doses) complete the vaccine series with PCV7 or PCV13?
When PCV13 is available in the office, it is preferred that children who are not yet completely vaccinated with PCV7 complete the vaccine series with PCV13. The vaccines are interchangeable and using PCV13 to complete the series is efficacious and safe. If the only pneumococcal conjugate vaccine available in a providerís office is PCV7, then that vaccine should be provided to children and infants for whom vaccination is indicated; if additional doses are needed to complete the series, these children should complete their series with PCV13 at subsequent visits, if possible.
Should providers actively contact parents of children in order to schedule an appointment for the child to receive the PCV13 vaccine?
No. For children who are not yet completely vaccinated, providers should provide age-appropriate vaccination with PCV13 following routine office practices. Children for whom the supplemental PCV13 dose is indicated should receive it at their next medical visit, but no sooner than 8 weeks after the last dose of PCV7.
What should providers do if they have PCV13 available for their patients but also have unused PCV7 vaccine still available in their office?
When PCV13 is available in the office, it is preferred that children who are not yet completely vaccinated with PCV7 complete the vaccine series with PCV13. However, during the transition period or until an adequate supply of PCV13 is available, providers are encouraged not to discard unused doses of PCV7. For PCV7 supplies purchased with nonpublic funds, providers should contact Pfizerís customer service department regarding return policies (1-800-666-7248). Providers should contact their state immunization programs for guidance on returns of PCV7 vaccine purchased with public funds.
Can a provider borrow between private stock and VFC stock of PCV13?
According to CDCís policy on two directional borrowing between VFC and private stock vaccine, CDC allows borrowing of VFC vaccine to be administered to non-VFC eligible patients in limited circumstances due to an unexpected lack of private stock vaccine. Providers are required to document these situations and also situations when it is necessary to borrow from private stock due to a lack of VFC vaccine. The practice is not allowed in all states and providers should check with their state immunization or VFC program office.
Will PCV13 be included in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program?
Yes, after a contract for purchasing PCV13 has been negotiated with the manufacturer. It is anticipated that VFC supplies of PCV13 will be available for providers to order in early April 2010.
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Content last reviewed on March 10, 2010
Content Source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases