Among patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia, those who had previously received the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) had a lower risk of death and admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) than patients who were not vaccinated, according to a report in the October 8 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

Of the 3,415 patients with community-acquired pneumonia observed by Jennie Johnstone, MD, and colleagues at the University of Alberta, 22% had been vaccinated with PPV, and 624 died or were admitted to the ICU. Those who had been vaccinated with PPV were less likely to die or be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated (10% vs 21%).

This finding was mostly a result of lower ICU admissions—less than 1% of those vaccinated were admitted to the ICU, compared with 13% of those who were not vaccinated. Results were similar when the researchers looked only at patients 65 and older, for whom shots are recommended.

“We believe that our results further emphasize the importance of adopting current adult pneumococcal vaccination guidelines, particularly since only 22% of our population were vaccinated before their hospitalization and less than 10% of eligible patients were vaccinated before hospital discharge,” said the researchers.

To view the abstract, click here.