Two big changes recommended for vaccination schedule

The 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax 23) should be replaced by 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevenar 13) on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for older adults, the PBAC has recommended.

The committee has also recommended that dTpa vaccine (Boostrix) be listed on the NIP for maternal vaccination against pertussis in the third trimester.

In its latest series of recommendations for PBS and NIP listings, the PBAC said Prevenar 13 should become the designated vaccine on the NIP for preventing pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease in adults.

This would mean that pneumococcal-vaccine naive people over 65 and Indigenous Australians over 50 would be eligible for a single dose of Prevenar 13.

Booster vaccinations are not recommended, although some people in high-risk groups would still continue to receive a 23-valent pneumococcal vaccine booster after five years,