“The interventions outlined in our article can easily be implemented in pediatric rheumatology practices or other subspecialty clinics,” Dr. Julia G. Harris from Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo., told Reuters Health by email. “It takes additional time, but is well worth the effort to improve the care of our patients.”
Deficient immune systems and immunosuppressive medications can place pediatric rheumatology patients at an increased risk of pneumococcal disease. These high-risk patients could benefit from the recommended vaccination with 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) followed by the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).
Before the intervention, only 6.7% of 305 patients at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Rheumatology Clinic, Milwaukee, the site of the study, were up to date on PCR 13, 8.9% were up to date for PPSV23, and none were up to date for both vaccines.