On September 19, 2014 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations pertaining to pneumococcal vaccination. These recommendations were updated on September 2015 and incorporated into the 2016 ACIP Adult Immunization Schedule. ACIP now recommends that adults aged 65 years and older receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13, Prevnar-13®) followed by the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23, Pneumovax®23), twelve months apart. The full recommendations are available on the CDC website.
Surveyors are aware of these recommendations. Centers that are not following current recommendations have received deficiency citations already, particularly those centers whose immunization policy references that they follow the latest ACIP guidelines. We expect that CMS will provide communication on the impact these new ACIP guidelines have on the survey process in the near future. In the meantime, Centers should promptly incorporate Prevnar 13 (PCV-13) into their pneumococcal immunization program per CDC and ACIP recommendations.