Pneumococcal changes – your questions answered 

27 July 2020

Why has the schedule point changed from 65 years to 70 years?

The risk of pneumococcal disease associated mortality in Australian adults is considerably higher from 70 years of age than between 65 and 69 years of age. As the effectiveness of pneumococcal vaccines wanes over time, moving vaccination from 65 years of age to 70 years would ensure that these adults are sufficiently protected as they move into the older age groups. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults, the recommended age for pneumococcal vaccination is unchanged, at 50 years of age, given the remarkably high disease risk seen at that age and beyond. 

Why are we now offering Prevenar13® instead of Pneumovax23®for healthy adults?

Prevenar13® (13vPCV) is now recommendedbecause high-quality evidence is now available showing 13vPCV is efficacious in preventing severe (invasive) pneumococcal disease well as non-bacteraemic pneumonia that more commonly occur in adults. The efficacy of 13vPCV is higher than that of Pneumovax23® (23vPPV)particularly against non-bacteraemic pneumonia.

For more details and answers to frequently asked questions, see NCIRS factsheets:

Download the new NSW Immunisation Schedule – July 2020

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