[Prevention of elderly pneumonia by pneumococcal, influenza and BCG vaccinations]

Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 2005 Jan;42(1):34-6. doi: 10.3143/geriatrics.42.34.
[Article in Japanese]


Pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in elderly people, especially in those with chronic medical conditions such as chronic heart and lung diseases. We prospectively examined the effect of influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations on the rate of hospitalization for and complications of pneumonia, all respiratory tract conditions and mortality in elderly bedridden patients and found that both febrile days and pneumonia cases decreased. Thus, these results show that it is valuable to vaccinate for influenza elderly people even if they are confined to bed. Furthermore, the tuberculin skin test is an easy method to check the cell-mediated immunity in the elderly people. In the tuberculin skin test, all Japanese over 65 years old should have positive status. A negative result indicates depressed cell-mediated immunity. We undertook a trial to vaccinate tuberculin negative elderly people with BCG vaccine and found that the risk of pneumonia is decreased to a similar degree to that in subjects with positive tuberculin test results. We conclude that vaccination might be an effective strategy for the prevention of pneumonia in elderly people with limited activities of daily living.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • BCG Vaccine*
  • Humans
  • Influenza Vaccines*
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines*
  • Pneumonia / immunology
  • Pneumonia / prevention & control*
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Vaccination*


  • BCG Vaccine
  • Influenza Vaccines
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines