Panel urges 2nd pneumonia shot for older adults

Panel: People 65 and older should get a 2nd, different shot against pneumonia-causing bacteria

Associated Press

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.

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