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Vaccines 2018, 6(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines6020025

Should UK Pneumococcal Vaccine Eligibility Criteria Include Alcohol Dependency in Areas with High Alcohol-Related Mortality?

1
School of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Sunderland, Sunderland SR1 3SD, UK
2
Directorate of Public Health, Sunderland City Council, Sunderland SR2 7ND, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 27 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
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Abstract

A recently reported steep increase in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in adults in the North East of England was primarily associated with pneumococcal sero-types found in the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23). This region also has one of the highest rates of alcohol-related premature mortality and morbidity in the UK. Given that alcohol dependence is long acknowledged as one of the strongest risk factors for IPD mortality, we feel there is an increasingly compelling case to look again at the divergence of UK vaccine guidance from that of the World Health Organisation and the Centre for Disease Control in the USA, in the non-inclusion of alcoholism as an indicator condition that would potentially benefit from receiving PPSV23 vaccine. Such a re-think would represent a responsible evaluation of vaccination guidance in the face of newly emerging epidemiological findings and would have the potential to save lives in a very marginalised and vulnerable section of the population. We propose therefore that alcohol dependency (now referred to as alcohol use disorder), should be re-considered an indicator condition for receiving pneumococcal vaccine in North East England, where mortality from pneumococcal disease has been rising and which already has an excessive burden of alcohol-related mortality. View Full-Text
Keywords: pneumococcal vaccines; risk factors; alcoholism; alcohol use disorder; mortality pneumococcal vaccines; risk factors; alcoholism; alcohol use disorder; mortality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mooney, J.D.; Imarhiagbe, M.; Ling, J. Should UK Pneumococcal Vaccine Eligibility Criteria Include Alcohol Dependency in Areas with High Alcohol-Related Mortality? Vaccines 2018, 6, 25.

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