Pneumococcal Vaccine – Guidance from Top Experts in PA/LTC

February 1, 2017

Are you clear on which pneumococcal vaccine is appropriate for your patients or loved ones?

Hi – I’m Christopher Laxton, Executive Director of AMDA – The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. The CDC recommends that all adults 65 years of age and older, as well as younger adults with specific risk factors, receive two types of pneumococcal vaccinations. As you know, pneumococcal disease is a dangerous health risk to those living in post-acute and long-term care facilities, causing some 18,000 deaths each year. Vaccination plays an important part in reducing illness and death from it. Until now, there has been little specific guidance on pneumococcal vaccination for PA/LTC.

The Society’s Infection Advisory Committee recently released recommendations on pneumococcal vaccination for PA/LTC patients. These recommendations include:

  • PA/LTC providers should establish and maintain a pneumococcal vaccination program that provides residents with access to current CDC-recommended pneumococcal vaccines.
  • Vaccination programs should include a requirement to determine how recently residents were vaccinated against pneumococcus bacteria, and to administer and document appropriate pneumococcal vaccinations following current CDC guidance, unless the resident declines, has a medical contraindication, or an allergy.
  • Providers should engage in Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement, or QAPI, by evaluating their pneumococcal vaccination programs, and improving their effectiveness if their vaccine acceptance rates fall below US Department of Health and Human Services goals.

To help providers meet the CDC recommendations, the Society has created guidance documents for providers, including FAQs and a resident pneumococcal vaccination assessment note. These tools, along with our policy statement, can be found at http://www.paltc.org/pneumococcal-vaccination-guidance-paltc-facilities.

For residents, patients and family members – it’s important that you, too, advocate for yourself and your loved ones. Make sure to ask your provider which vaccinations are being offered or have already been given. Our tools can serve as a good reference for you. Please print them from our website and show them to your practitioner the next time you meet with them.

Together, the Society, providers and patients, can play a key role in increasing pneumococcal vaccination rates among PA/LTC patients and residents, leading to an improvement in health and in quality of life

Which pneumococcal vaccine is appropriate for your patients or loved ones?