Pneumococcal Vaccination for Asthmatic Pediatric Patients
This blog post is part of a series highlighting important changes in the 2024 ACIP immunization schedules. This series is written alongside newly onboarded Immunization Program Medical Specialist, Dr. Mayssa Abuali.
Dr. Abuali is board certified in general pediatrics, pediatric infectious diseases, and pediatric hospital medicine. Dr. Abuali has served the Philadelphia pediatric community for the past 10 years. She served as the Director of the Einstein Pediatric Inpatient Service at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and as the Director of the Einstein Pediatric New Arrivals clinic.
The 2024 ACIP immunization schedule for children and adolescents includes an important change regarding pneumococcal vaccine guidance.
In addition to all children 2 – 23 months, pneumococcal vaccination is recommended for children with moderate persistent or severe persistent asthma aged 2 to 18 years.
Patients who are asthmatic and previously only vaccinated with PCV13 or PCV15 should receive an additional dose of PCV20 (or PPSV23) for additional protection.*
Asthma disproportionally affects children from low socioeconomic status and communities of color. “Many of these children end up hospitalized with status asthmaticus secondary to viral infections, and some may develop superimposed bacterial pneumonia,” says Dr. Mayssa Abuali, Immunization Program Medical Specialist.
With PCV20 anticipated to be more widely available than PPSV23 in pediatric practices and greater clarity in the latest recommendation, clinicians should seize the opportunity to protect this vulnerable population.
*PCV20: pneumococcal conjugate 20-valent vaccine
PPSV23: pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine