Introduction: Fifteen and 20-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV15; PCV20) were recently licensed to prevent pneumococcal disease in adults. In the absence of efficacy or effectiveness data for these new vaccines, studies comparing 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23) and PCV13 might help inform decision-making on how to best implement expanded-valency PCVs. Comparing PPV23 and PCV13 is problematic, as no head-to-head clinical trials evaluated efficacy. Comparing effectiveness results across observational studies that vary by population, design, and outcomes is difficult. To address these limitations, we undertook a narrative review of studies that assessed PPV23 and PCV13 vaccine effectiveness (VE) in the same adult populations. Methods: We conducted a literature search in PubMed and Google Scholar and screened 525 studies using a standardized evaluation framework. Results: Nine studies met inclusion criteria, all from high-income countries. None evaluated invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) alone. VE against vaccine-type pneumococcal pneumonia ranged from 2 to 6% for PPV23 and 41 to 71% for PCV13. VE against pneumococcal pneumonia or severe pneumococcal disease (IPD or pneumococcal pneumonia) ranged from −10 to 11% for PPV23, 40 to 79% for PCV13, and 39 to 83% for sequential PCV13/PPV23. VE against all-cause pneumonia or lower respiratory tract infection ranged from −8 to 3% for PPV23 and 9 to 12% for PCV13. Conclusions: Overall, PCV13 demonstrated better protection than PPV23 against pneumococcal disease and all-cause respiratory outcomes in the included studies. Where evaluated, sequential PCV13/PPV23 vaccination showed little benefit over PCV13 alone. Results support the use of PCVs to protect against pneumococcal disease and respiratory infections in adults.
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