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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2013 Aug;29(4):212-5. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2012.10.004. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Assessment of candidacy for pneumococcal vaccination in intensive care patients.

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Pharmacy Practice, Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Des Moines, IA 50309, USA.



The 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine has been shown to be effective in reducing mortality and complications from pneumonia. The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have published guidelines for vaccination eligibility. The intensive care unit (ICU) may represent a missed opportunity for administration of the pneumococcal vaccine to eligible patients. This study assessed the characteristics of patients in an ICU in relation to their candidacy for pneumococcal vaccination. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY/SETTING: A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients with a single admission to a mixed 25 bed ICU of a tertiary-care community teaching hospital from October 2010 to January 2011. Information procured included demographic information, pneumococcal vaccine eligibility, documentation of prior vaccination status or vaccine administration and patient outcomes.


Two-hundred and sixty three individual medical and surgical admissions to the ICU occurred during the study period. The mean number of indicator risk factors for pneumococcal vaccine was 2.3 (95% CI (2.117-2.513), with the majority of patients being over age 65 (57%) and having chronic heart or lung disease (81%). Despite this only seven patients had immunisation status documented and only 14 patients received pneumococcal vaccination during the index hospital stay.


In a large tertiary-care teaching hospital, most patients admitted to the ICU had multiple indications for pneumococcal vaccination. However, only a small percentage were assessed or given vaccination during their hospital stay. ICU protocols that give nurses the ability to assess and administer pneumococcal vaccines may improve immunisation rates.

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