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Pneumococcal vaccination of the elderly (2023)

A pneumococcal infection can cause serious illness. Vaccination has been offered to the elderly since 2020 with the polysaccharide vaccine PPV23. Elderly people are also indirectly protected through the vaccination of children, by means of group protection.

For elderly two new vaccines have become available: PCV15 and PCV20. Both vaccines are conjugate vaccines. This vaccine type offers a longer protection than polysaccharide vaccines, meaning a repeat dose every five years is considered unnecessary. Also, the new vaccines are more effective in preventing pneumococcal disease than the current polysaccharide vaccine. The Health Council recommends offering a single pneumococcal vaccination with PCV20 to people aged 60 and over. This will yield more health benefits than repeated vaccination with PPV23. When new vaccines become available for children and the elderly, even greater health benefits may be achieved. The Council therefore recommends closely monitoring developments in this regard.