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November 17, 1978

Pneumococcal Vaccine After Splenectomy

Author Affiliations

Naval Regional Medical Center Portsmouth, Va

JAMA. 1978;240(21):2249. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290210031017

To the Editor.—  The discussion of overwhelming sepsis after splenectomy in the QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS section (240:684, 1978) mentions Diplococcus pneumoniae as the causative agent in most cases.1 Although polyvalent pneumococcal vaccination was not mentioned, this seems to be the ideal situation for its use. The vaccine is recommended for use in surgically asplenic patients2 and is of low risk and high potential benefit. Prevention of pneumococcal sepsis is preferable to treating it.