Mayo Clinic now recommends a new pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for some
4/27/2022 by Robert M. Jacobson, M.D.
Pneumococcal bacteria cause a variety of serious, invasive infections, resulting in hospitalization or death. The vaccines used to prevent these infections cover different strains of the pneumococcal bacteria. Now we have newer vaccines for adults that cover more strains that are of concern to adults.
Children will still get same vaccine as before. This is PCV13. The PCV stands for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Its brand name is Prevnar 13. The 13 signifies the number of strains of pneumococcal bacteria it defends against. It works well in this age group.
But now adults will be getting a newer vaccination at Mayo Clinic. This is PCV20. Its brand name is Prevnar 20. The 20 represents the strains of pneumococcal bacteria that this vaccine covers. Mayo Clinic will be recommending a single dose of this vaccine for adults who need protection against pneumococcal bacteria. This includes adults 65 years and older. It also includes those 19 to 64 years of age who have medical conditions or other problems that increase their risk for infection with pneumococcal bacteria. In the past adults 19 to 64 years of age needed one to three doses of pneumococcal vaccine with one to two types of pneumococcal vaccine.
Care teams will work with adults who have already received some vaccines against pneumococcal bacteria. They may not need the PCV20. Some may just need the older vaccine that had been used.
Contact your health care team to determine which vaccine is right for you.
Robert M. Jacobson, M.D., is medical director of the Primary Care Immunization Program in Southeast Minnesota. He is a physician in Community Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Rochester.