Vaccination recommendations and risk of meningitis following cochlear implantation

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Oct;22(5):359-66. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000092.


Purpose of review: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established vaccination guidelines for cochlear implant recipients to address the concern for implant-associated bacterial meningitis. Since their inception in 2002, these guidelines have undergone several revisions. We review the rationale and development of the current vaccination schedule.

Recent findings: Bacterial meningitis is a rare yet potentially life-threatening complication of cochlear implantation. The recommendations for pneumococcal vaccination have evolved to a state in which nearly all cochlear implant patients receive a combination of both the PCV7 or PCV13 and PPSV23.

Summary: Streptococcus pneumoniae vaccinations have dramatically decreased the incidence of serotype-specific invasive pneumococcal disease across all age groups. However, the optimal timing of immunization remains unclear in cochlear implant candidates.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Cochlear Implantation / adverse effects*
  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Humans
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / epidemiology
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / etiology*
  • Meningitis, Pneumococcal / prevention & control*
  • Otitis Media / complications
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Risk Factors
  • Vaccination / standards*
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / therapeutic use


  • Heptavalent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
  • Pneumococcal Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Conjugate