Clinical Dialogue: Bringing Clarity to Pneumococcal Vaccinations: Understanding Serotypes and Therapeutic Implications

In both infants and older adults, pneumococcal pneumonia continues to be a leading cause of death. The incidence of pneumonia and related mortality are highest in adults ≥65 years of age and patients with comorbidities. While young children also have increased risk of morbidity and mortality due to pneumonia, it is not to the same extent as seen in older adults. The most recent guidance for vaccination practices was provided by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in 2019. Since then, there have been several key changes in pneumococcal vaccination. These key updates include the approval of two pneumococcal vaccines in adults and new pediatric vaccination data. Clinicians treating those at risk of pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) require increased education on the impact of pneumococcal pneumonia and IPD, the importance of serotypes in pneumococcal disease and IPD, and updated information on recent approvals and evidence.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the PA should be better able to:
  • Discuss the implications and impact of pneumococcal pneumonia and IPD across patient populations
  • Outline the most common serotypes leading to pneumococcal pneumonia and those leading to serious/invasive pneumococcal disease
  • Compare and contrast the characteristics and evidence underlying currently available and recently approved pneumococcal vaccinations

Acknowledgement of Commercial Support

Supported by an independent educational grant from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.