The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to accept recommendation proposals concerning the interval between receipt of pneumococcal vaccinations, as well as changes to the viral strains and pediatric dosage of the seasonal influenza vaccine.
The unanimously committee extended the recommended interval for adults receiving the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13; Prevnar13, Wyeth) and the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23; Pneumovax 23, Merck) from 6 months to at least 1 year apart, regardless of sequence. This increase would enable the elderly to have both vaccinations covered by Medicare or Medicaid, and may also increase immune response.
“We don’t [want to] commit our seniors to that financial burden,” Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, of the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin, said during the meeting.
A decision regarding the recommended interval for those aged 2 to 18 years with underlying health conditions was considered as well, but a vote was postponed until October.
The ACIP also recommended the inclusion of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 to the algorithm determining the number of seasonal influenza vaccine doses for children aged 6 months to 8 years. Under this recommendation, children who had received two or more doses in previous seasons would only need a single dose during the current influenza season, while children with fewer previous doses would receive two. The influenza recommendation was passed with 14 votes in favor, and one abstention.
Lisa Grohskopf, MD, MPH, medical officer of the CDC’s Influenza Division, said a separate dose of swine flu vaccine does not appear necessary for this age group now that the disease is no longer pandemic.
ACIP affirmed the addition of A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus in place of A/Texas/50/2012 and B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus in place of B/Massachusetts/2/2012 for the 2015-2016 seasonal influenza vaccine. – by David Jwanier