Panel urges 2nd pneumonia shot for older adults

AP News
Posted: Aug 13, 2014 4:52 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal panel says older Americans should start getting a new vaccine against bacteria that cause pneumonia.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to recommend a dose of the expensive new shot for people 65 and older. The panel said older adults should still get an older pneumococcal vaccine, too.

The newer vaccine — Pfizer's Prevnar-13 — was licensed in 2011 and costs about $135 per dose. It already is recommended for infants and people with certain medical conditions.

One dose of an older vaccine — which targets a different lineup of bacteria — remained the standard for older adults. A Dutch study this year found Prevnar-13 prevented more pneumonia in the elderly.

Officials believe the new shot could prevent 5,000 illnesses a year.