The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) decided at its latest meeting that vaccination for over-65s and at-risk patients should not be switched to the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine used in the childhood vaccination programme.
The JCVI said at its latest meeting that vaccination of adults and children against pneumococcal disease must be reviewed again within two years.
The committee warned that there were ‘very large uncertainties about the cost-effectiveness of the use of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine’. In particular, it is not clear how effectively the vaccine protects clinical risk groups against invasive pneumococcal disease and non-bacteraemic pneumococcal pneumonia.
The JCVI said: ‘Certain risk groups with a very high morbidity from invasive pneumococcal disease would benefit from vaccination with [the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine] for a short period of time and this should be under the supervision of a physician in secondary care.’
Pfizer, which markets the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine Prevenar 13 vaccine in the UK, said it was ‘extremely concerned about the potential impact’ of the JCVI’s decision not to recommend use of the vaccine for over-65s and at-risk patients. A spokesman for the company said unvaccinated individuals remain at risk of contracting pneumococcal disease and direct vaccination is the optimal strategy for providing individual protection against invasive pneumoccocal disease.