Explain The Importance Of Pneumococcal Vaccine In COPD

“We are very used to thinking that vaccination is a child’s thing. And that is not so.” Isabel Jimeno, coordinator of the Vaccine Group of the Spanish Society of General and Family Medicine (SEMG), is a great advocate for vaccines to reach the entire population, especially chronic patients. Therefore, during the VII Dual Pneumological Conference organized by society in Malaga, on February 28 and 29, he talked about the importance of pneumococcal vaccine in those patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). And about the need for the Primary Care consultation to insist on this with patients.

Isabel Jimeno explains the importance of the pneumococcal vaccine.

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“Vaccination is important throughout life, not only in young children,” says Jimeno. “The COPD patient is more susceptible to pneumococcal infections, mainly pneumococcal pneumonia,” says Jimeno.

The expert explains that the latest studies, published in 2019, indicate that the pneumococcal vaccine would have a potential benefit. “Of the pneumonia admitted, 42 percent would be due to vaccine serotypes that are included in the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination, which coincidentally is the same vaccine that we give to children when they are young,” he says.

Avoid hospital admissions

In the specific case of patients with respiratory pathology, the possibility of having exacerbations and crises that cause admission should be put in place, many of them are due to pneumococcus. “The possibility of the respiratory patient entering with respect to a healthy patient is multiplied by five.”

“The possibility of the respiratory patient entering with respect to a healthy patient is multiplied by five”

“And the patient with respiratory pathology is a patient whose quality of life is touched. If it is added that he can enter with pneumococcal pneumonia, when he is discharged his quality of life will be even worse. But it is that also the lethality that this pneumonia has in a patient with COPD, or with any other chronic pathology, is maintained for the next ten years.

For Jimeno, ideally, at least all chronic patients get vaccinated. She works in the Community of Madrid, where they vaccinate from the age of 60 so that the immune system is younger and their response is better. This, with laity, becomes much more susceptible to infectious diseases, as is being seen with the coronavirus: older people with chronic pathologies are the largest population at risk. The same goes for pneumococcal disease.

Work in Primary Care

The problem, he says, is that among adults he is getting so much. “Adults think that we do not need vaccination, that vaccines are only things for children. And that is the job of doctors and nurses in Primary Care, but also of hospitals: the mission of any healthcare staff is to inform our patients of the importance that you have vaccination at any age and, especially in adults, “he says. In the case of Primary Care, the implication has to be full. He adds that they are the most accessible. Patients know them, and professionals also know them. So you have to insist.

Jimeno also highlights that more campaigns are needed. “The most important vaccines in adults are that of influenza and pneumococcal. But we only found out when the flu campaign begins or when patients begin to enter hospitals and there are no beds. At any time in the middle of all the season says nothing about vaccine, “he says.

“And pneumococcal vaccination is never explained – he adds -, which has the same weight as the flu. And it also has a comfort: that it is only once in life and not every year, as in the flu.”

A moment of the interview during the VII Dual Pneumological Conference of the SEMG.


Although it may contain statements, data or notes from healthcare institutions or professionals, the information contained in Medical Writing is edited and prepared by journalists. We recommend to the reader that any questions related to health be consulted with a healthcare professional.

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