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Preventing Pneumococcal Disease: Intergenerational Issues Toughest Cases

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In the United States, approximately four million people contract pneumococcal infections each year, and elders and children are at an increased risk of contracting these infections. Since the late 1800s, researchers have searched for a vaccine that covers the many serotypes of Streptococcus pneumoniae. Today, three vaccines are available, and each possesses subtle differences. Notwithstanding the positive impact from each vaccine type, the incidence of diseases caused by serotypes that are not included in specific vaccines tends to increase in children and certain adult populations with underlying illnesses. While these increases are usually small compared with the overall reduction in disease, some clinicians and patients question the effectiveness of vaccinations. Pharmacists need to promote pneumococcal vaccination and emphasize the need to also receive annual influenza vaccine.

Keywords: ACIP = Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices; Elderly; FDA = Food and Drug Administration; IPD = Invasive pneumococcal disease; Intergenerational; Invasive pneumococcal disease; OM = Otitis media; PCV = Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; PCV13 = 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; PCV7 = 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; PPV = Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; PPV23 = 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; Pneumococcal disease; Viral replacement; WHO = World Health Organization

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2013

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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