Tools for increasing pneumococcal disease immunization rates

Professional practice toolkit released by NFID seeks to improve poor pneumococcal vaccination

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) has released a pneumococcal disease immunization toolkit that includes patient education materials, a downloadable immunization assessment form, information for gearing communications to various patient populations, and a fact sheet for immunizers.

Many of the 900,000 cases of community-acquired pneumonia annually in the United States are caused by pneumococci. Pneumococcal pneumonia results in some 175,000 Americans being hospitalized each year, and the disease also can cause meningitis and bacteremia, a condition similar to meningitis and pneumonia and involving muscle and joint pain.

CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for the following patients/conditions:

  • Age 65 years or older
  • Younger adults with kidney, lung, heart, or liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Lack of or partial spleen
  • HIV/AIDs and other immunocompromisng conditions
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Alcoholism