Background: Pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccines prevent pneumococcal disease in infants, but their efficacy against pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia in adults 65 years of age or older is unknown.
Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 84,496 adults 65 years of age or older, we evaluated the efficacy of 13-valent polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (PCV13) in preventing first episodes of vaccine-type strains of pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia, nonbacteremic and noninvasive pneumococcal community-acquired pneumonia, and invasive pneumococcal disease. Standard laboratory methods and a serotype-specific urinary antigen detection assay were used to identify community-acquired pneumonia and invasive pneumococcal disease.
Results: In the per-protocol analysis of first episodes of infections due to vaccine-type strains, community-acquired pneumonia occurred in 49 persons in the PCV13 group and 90 persons in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 45.6%; 95.2% confidence interval [CI], 21.8 to 62.5), nonbacteremic and noninvasive community-acquired pneumonia occurred in 33 persons in the PCV13 group and 60 persons in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 45.0%; 95.2% CI, 14.2 to 65.3), and invasive pneumococcal disease occurred in 7 persons in the PCV13 group and 28 persons in the placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 75.0%; 95% CI, 41.4 to 90.8). Efficacy persisted throughout the trial (mean follow-up, 3.97 years). In the modified intention-to-treat analysis, similar efficacy was observed (vaccine efficacy, 37.7%, 41.1%, and 75.8%, respectively), and community-acquired pneumonia occurred in 747 persons in the PCV13 group and 787 persons in placebo group (vaccine efficacy, 5.1%; 95% CI, -5.1 to 14.2). Numbers of serious adverse events and deaths were similar in the two groups, but there were more local reactions in the PCV13 group.
Conclusions: Among older adults, PCV13 was effective in preventing vaccine-type pneumococcal, bacteremic, and nonbacteremic community-acquired pneumonia and vaccine-type invasive pneumococcal disease but not in preventing community-acquired pneumonia from any cause. (Funded by Pfizer; CAPITA ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00744263.).