COPD Patients Benefit From Both Flu and Pneumoccal Vaccinations

Influenza vaccine recommended for seniors 65+ along with PPS23 and PCV13
COPD lungs picture

The global burdens of respiratory diseases remain among the highest of all diseases and the most frequent causes of senior fatalities.

'Routine vaccination of elderly people against pneumococcal diseases is recommended in many countries. National guidelines differ, recommending either the 23-valent polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23), the 13-valent conjugate vaccine (PCV13) or both.'

A recent meta study’s conclusion was that seniors with COPD should be given both the PPSV23 or Pneumovax (PPV23) and influenza vaccines.

This conclusion says that ‘preventing lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) also prevents exacerbations in COPD patients.’

When COPD patients are infected with CAP, the risk of exacerbation in the first year is 1.5 times higher than those who were not infected. The data showed that seasonal influenza vaccines had a significant effect in preventing COPD exacerbations. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients are 20 times more likely to contract CAP.

“In patients with COPD, preventing LRTIs, which frequently involve S. pneumoniae, appears critical, because they can alter disease status and speed disease progression, thus increasing the risk of subsequent exacerbation,” these study authors confirmed.

“Including pneumococcal vaccination in early care for COPD may improve the long-term natural history of the disease, although further evidence is needed.”

Supporting this recommendation, the recent Community-Acquired Pneumonia Immunization Trial in Adults (CAPITA) showed the efficacy of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in older adults.

A PLOS One study found pooled efficacies of PPV23 against invasive pneumococcal disease (45%−73%) and pneumococcal pneumonia (48%−64%), by any serotype.

Additionally, these researchers suggest the pneumococcal vaccination should be delivered early in the course of treating COPD.

Multivalent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines (PPVs) have existed for many years, and the 23-valent vaccine (PPV23) is recommended by many public health agencies for those over 65 years of age. 

Despite these recommendations, pneumococcal vaccination and awareness were reported to be low in Europe and the United States, with only 50% of primary care physicians in Europe and 71% of specialists reporting knowledge of the term invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD).

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine is recommended by the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for all 65+ adults as well as the conjugate vaccine.

Most private health insurance policies cover pneumococcal vaccines. Medicare Part B also covers 100 percent of the cost for both pneumococcal vaccines.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides private sector vaccine prices for general information. Vaccine discount information in the USA can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.

These researchers, Filipe Froes, Nicolas Roche, Francesco Blasi, received various financial support from industry: Filipe Froes, Nicolas Roche, and Francesco Blasi received personal fees from Pfizer to conduct the symposium. Filipe Froes has also received grants, personal fees, and nonfinancial support from Pfizer; personal fees and nonfinancial support from MSD; personal fees from Sanofi Pasteur and Novartis; and nonfinancial support from Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Bayer, and Bial. Nicolas Roche has received grants and personal fees from Pfizer, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Novartis, and personal fees from Teva, GSK, AstraZeneca, Chiesi, Mundipharma, Cipla, Sanofi, Sandoz, 3M, and Zambon. Francesco Blasi has received grants and personal fees from Bayer, Chiesi, Guidotti, Menarini, Pfizer, Teva, and Zambon, and personal fees from Dompé, AstraZeneca, and Novartis.