Pneumococcal Vaccine Pathway

Pneumococcal Vaccine Pathway

Patient Assessment

General Information

  • immune status
  • chances of acquiring a S. pneumoniae infection
  • co-morbidities that make getting an infection more risky
  • age
  • previous pneumococcal vaccinations and,
  • when they were given

Timing of Administration

Most patients can receive the vaccine safely while in hospital

Recovering from infections such as pneumonia has little negative impact on lymphocyte ability to produce antibodies

In fact, patients are more likely to accept a vaccine while they are in hospital due to increased health awareness

Administer the appropriate vaccine towards the end of the hospital stay

  • Wait until the patient is out of the ICU/CCU/CVU
  • Splenectomized patients should wait 14 days post-op
  • If embarking on potent immunesupression (e.g. chemotherapy or immunologic treatment), attempt to vaccinate before hand
  • Patient receiving new immunosupressing drugs (e.g. prednisone) or antibiotics
  • Low lymphocytes or hypo-gammaglobulinemia
  • Patient doesn't feel well
  • Fever, increased WBC or signs of infection
  • Newly diagnosed HIV or any other immunocompromising chronic disease (e.g. CKD)

Vaccines Available

There are two products currently available for use in adults. They vary in their immunogenicity, the strains of pneumococcus they cover, how they can be given and their efficacy in different patient populations.


References: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2015 Center for Disease Control BC Provincial Immunization Guide


This pathway is specific to inpatients at Island Health hospitals where both Prevnar 13 and Penumovax 23 are available free of charge.

While this pathway is equally valid for outpatients, outpatient vaccines may not be covered despite being recommended. In these scenarios, a recommendation will provide guidance on eligibility,

pricing and where to obtain these products.