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Editor's Correspondence
March 24, 2008

Pneumococcal Vaccination in Adults

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(6):666-667. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.6.666-a

In their recent article, Johnstone et al1 demonstrated that for the years 2000 to 2002, hospitalized Canadian adults with community-acquired pneumonia who had previously received 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine (PPV) experienced lower mortality or less need for intensive care unit admission compared with unvaccinated patients. However, the investigators pointed out that only 215 of 2416 eligible patients (9%) were vaccinated at hospital discharge.1 A recent UK-based study showed that depending on the risk, vaccine uptake in at-risk individuals ranged from 13% to 69% but was substantially lower in populations where the proportion of nonwhites exceeds 10%.2 Marked ethnic disparities were also reported among American elderly adults.3The uptake of PPV among Muslims attending the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is not known, even though up to 12% of the lower respiratory tract infections at the Hajj are caused by pneumococci.4

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