When it comes to protecting somebody against serious illnesses, the PCV vaccine is one of the most important issues. It helps protect against pneumococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can cause various illnesses, from ear infections to pneumonia. But when is the best age to get the PCV vaccine? Is there really the best age for the PCV vaccine? In order to answer this question, we should first determine which categories are eligible to get the vaccine. Only in this case can we clarify whether there is a better or even best age range to get the PCV vaccine or not. Thus, in this blog post, we’ll explore the latest research on the best age to get the PCV vaccine, discuss the number of doses required for receiving the PCV vaccine, and also the suitable current recommended vaccine for each category. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of the best age for any individual to get the PCV vaccine.
Pneumococcal infections can affect anyone. However, some people are more likely to have a serious infection, so it is advised that they receive the pneumococcal vaccination. There are three categories of people who are suggested to have the pneumococcal vaccine:
- infants and toddlers under 2,
- people over the age of 65,
- Anybody between the ages of 2 and 64 who has a health issue that raises their chance of contracting the pneumococcal disease or anyone who is at work-related risk.
As a result, it is impossible to pinpoint the ideal age for the PCV vaccine or recommend it just to a specific age group. Instead, individuals from a wide age spectrum may qualify for this vaccination. In the following, we will examine each of these categories and the recommended vaccines.
Under 2 Years
Pneumococcal bacteria can be found in the throat and back of the nose in up to 60% of youngsters. They frequently spread these germs by coughing, sneezing, and direct touch. The pneumococcal vaccine offers some defense against various illnesses like severe ear infections and pneumonia in children brought on by pneumococcal bacteria, as well as against meningitis brought on by pneumococcal infection. However, this vaccine’s protection does not cover other bacterial or viral meningitis. Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), a form of pneumococcal vaccine, is routinely administered to infants as part of the childhood immunization program. Typically, they receive the PCV at 12 weeks and 1 year of age. In particular, the CDC advises giving all babies a program of 4 doses of PCV13 or PCV15. For kids under 2, doses at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, and 12 through 15 months are advised. Even children who skip a shot or begin the series later than advised should still receive vaccinations. Depending on the child’s age at the time of the first vaccination, the recommended number of doses and the intervals between them will vary.
Between 2 and 64 Years
It is not necessary for all people who fall into this category to get the pneumococcal vaccine. Rather, some of them who either have high-risk jobs- including those who work with metal fumes, such as welders- or have a special health condition, which will be mentioned below, should get the pneumococcal vaccine. Of course, in the following, we will also explain what vaccines these people should take. For a more detailed examination of this category, we divide it into smaller groups so that we can address them better.
Between 2 and 5
For kids aged 2 to 4 who haven’t had a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (either PCV13 or PCV15) series or who have but haven’t received the whole series, the CDC advises vaccination with PCV13 or PCV15. For children with conditions such as chronic heart disease, chronic lung disease, cochlear implant, diabetes mellitus, or cerebrospinal fluid leak, the CDC recommends giving two doses of either PCV13 or PCV15 pneumococcal conjugate vaccine if the child is unvaccinated or has received an incomplete pneumococcal conjugate vaccine series with less than three doses before 24 months of age. The second dose should be given at least 8 weeks after the first dose. If the child has received three doses of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine before 12 months but has yet to receive their fourth booster dose, one dose of either PCV13 or PCV15 should be given. Following the completion of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine series, one dose of PPSV23 should be given at least 8 weeks after the final dose of the conjugate vaccine.
For children with other conditions such as sickle cell disease, Hodgkin disease, leukemia, solid organ transplant, HIV infection, congenital or acquired asplenia or splenic dysfunction, complement deficiency, or phagocytic disorder, among others, the CDC recommends two doses of either PCV13 or PCV15 pneumococcal conjugate vaccine if the child is unvaccinated or has received an incomplete pneumococcal conjugate vaccine series with less than three doses before 24 months of age. The second dose should be given at least 8 weeks after the first dose.
Between 6 and 18
Suppose a child has a medical condition such as a cerebrospinal fluid leak or a cochlear implant. In that case, the CDC recommends providing one dose of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (either PCV13 or PCV15) if they have not previously gotten any doses. Before providing any prescribed doses of PPSV23, it’s crucial to deliver PCV13 or PCV15. The CDC advises administering 1 dose of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccination (either PCV13 or PCV15) to children with medical problems such as congenital immunodeficiency, chronic renal failure, or nephrotic syndrome. Moreover, it is advised to give the youngster 2 doses of PPSV23. The second dosage of PPSV23 should be administered at least 5 years after the first dose of PPSV23, and the first dose of PPSV23 should be administered at least 8 weeks after any prior pneumococcal conjugate vaccine dose. The CDC advises providing one dosage of PPSV23 to children with diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, asthma, or asthma treated with extended high-dose oral corticosteroid therapy (if not already given earlier in childhood).
Between 19 and 64
For adults with any of the conditions or risk factors, including alcoholism, chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease, cigarette smoking, and diabetes mellitus, among others, the recommended vaccination schedule includes one dose of PCV15 or PCV20 if they have not previously received any pneumococcal vaccine. If PCV15 is used, a dose of PPSV23 should follow at least one year later. However, if PCV20 is used, a dose of PPSV23 is not required. The recommended vaccination schedule for people who have only had PPSV23 is one dose of PCV15 or PCV20 given at least a year following the most recent PPSV23 vaccine. A further dosage of PPSV23 is not advised, regardless of whether PCV15 or PCV20 is administered. For those who have only received PCV13, the CDC recommends either one dose of PCV20 at least one year after PCV13 or one dose of PPSV23 at least eight weeks after PCV13. Patients with an immunocompromising condition will require two additional doses of PPSV23, with the second dose administered at least five years after the first dose of PPSV23 and the third dose at age 65 years or older. However, A third dose is not necessary if the patient is 65 years or older when the second dose is administered.
Above 65 Years
The CDC advises administering one dose of PCV15 or PCV20 to people 65 years of age and older who have never received a pneumococcal vaccination. If PCV15 is taken, it should be followed by a dosage of PPSV23 at least one year later. Adults with immunocompromised conditions, cochlear implants, or cerebrospinal fluid leaks may be considered at a minimum interval of 8 weeks. There is no need to administer PPSV23 if PCV20 is being utilized. Also, those who received PCV7 at any age without receiving any additional pneumococcal vaccinations should follow this advice. The CDC advises administering one dose of PCV15 or PCV20 to persons 65 years of age and older who have only taken PPSV23. At least a year should pass following the most recent PPSV23 vaccine before giving the PCV15 or PCV20 dosage. No matter if PCV15 or PCV20 is administered, giving them more PPSV23 is not advised because they have previously had it.
For individuals 65 and older who have only had PCV13, the CDC recommends either one dose of PCV20 or one dose of PPSV23 at least one year following PCV13. The minimal interval is 8 weeks and can be considered in people with an immunocompromising disease, cochlear implant, or cerebrospinal fluid leak. For persons 65 and older who have had PCV13 at any age and PPSV23 before age 65, the CDC recommends either one dose of PCV20 or one dose of PPSV23 at least 5 years after the last pneumococcal vaccine. Adults with immunocompromising conditions, cochlear implants, or cerebrospinal fluid leaks should take into account the minimum intervals (1 year from the last PCV13 dosage and 5 years from the last PPSV23 dose).
In conclusion, the PCV vaccination is an important tool in preventing people from dangerous pneumococcal diseases caused by bacterial infections that can cause pneumonia, meningitis, and blood infections. The number of cases of serious sickness and fatalities brought on by pneumococcal infections has been proven to be significantly reduced by vaccination, which is a safe and effective approach to preventing the disease. But at what age should the PCV vaccine be administered? The response is different depending on whether you are a youngster or an adult. In fact, the ideal age for PCV vaccination depends on the individual’s age and medical history, and getting vaccinated at the recommended age is a vital step in defending against pneumococcal infections and lowering the risk of serious illness and death. Parents should ensure that their children receive the necessary doses of the PCV vaccination at the proper ages, and adults who fall into the recommended categories with certain health conditions should also take the vaccine to protect themselves against pneumococcal illness.