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Adult Patients with Comorbidities Should Get Vaccinated for Pneumonia


Jacob Morton, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, Antibiotic Stewardship Outcomes Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center, clinical pharmacy research specialist, explains that adult patients with comorbidities should be vaccinated for pneumococcal disease.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“There’s really not any literature on the impact of multiple risk factors on 30-day mortality. What literature is available really focuses on [a person’s] risk of developing disease, but doesn’t really focus on [what happens] beyond that. We can’t ignore the fact that having these comorbidities in the set of a serious infection, such as pneumonia, bacteremia, or meningitis, is benign.
The mortality rate in our study was about 20%. That certainly is an important thing to look at, [and ask] ‘what impact do these comorbidities have on mortality?’ We’ve certainly showed that the comorbidities that were included in our study, which we selected based on the recommendations from the Advisory [Committee] on Immunization Practices and their indications for pneumococcal vaccination, not only increase the risk of developing pneumococcal disease, but they certainly increase the risk of 30-day mortality.
We didn’t find anything in our study that gave us a reason to say that these patients should not be vaccinated against pneumococcal disease, especially in patients who have lots of comorbidities, which the veteran population that we did the study in certainly did. I would say that it’s essential that all of these patients with risk factors be vaccinated against pneumococcal disease.”
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