Background: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at increased risk of pneumococcal disease, especially pneumonia, as well as acute exacerbations with associated morbidity and healthcare costs.
Objectives: To determine the efficacy of injectable pneumococcal vaccination for preventing pneumonia in persons with COPD.
Search methods: We searched the Cochrane Airways COPD Trials Register and the databases CENTRAL, MEDLINE and Embase, using prespecified terms. Searches are current to November 2016.
Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCT) comparing injectable pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) or pneumococcal conjugated vaccine (PCV) versus a control or alternative vaccine type in people with COPD.
Data collection and analysis: We used standard Cochrane methodological procedures. For meta-analyses, we subgrouped studies by vaccine type.
Main results: For this update, we added five studies (606 participants), meaning that the review now includes a total of 12 RCTs involving 2171 participants with COPD. Average age of participants was 66 years, male participants accounted for 67% and mean forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) was 1.2 L (five studies), 54% predicted (four studies). We assessed risks of selection, attrition and reporting bias as low, and risks of performance and detection bias as moderate.Compared with control, the vaccine group had a lower likelihood of developing community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) (odds ratio (OR) 0.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.43 to 0.89; six studies, n = 1372; GRADE: moderate), but findings did not differ specifically for pneumococcal pneumonia (Peto OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.31; three studies, n = 1158; GRADE: low). The number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) (preventing one episode of CAP) was 21 (95% CI 15 to 74). Mortality from cardiorespiratory causes did not differ between vaccine and control groups (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.66; three studies, n = 888; GRADE: moderate), nor did all-cause mortality differ (OR 1.00, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.40; five studies, n = 1053; GRADE: moderate). The likelihood of hospital admission for any cause, or for cardiorespiratory causes, did not differ between vaccine and control groups. Vaccination significantly reduced the likelihood of a COPD exacerbation (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.39 to 0.93; four studies, n = 446; GRADE: moderate). The NNTB to prevent a patient from experiencing an acute exacerbation was 8 (95% CI 5 to 58). Only one study (n = 181) compared the efficacy of different vaccine types - 23-valent PPV versus 7-valent PCV - and reported no differences for CAP, all-cause mortality, hospital admission or likelihood of a COPD exacerbation, but investigators described a greater likelihood of some mild adverse effects of vaccination with PPV-23.
Authors' conclusions: Injectable polyvalent pneumococcal vaccination provides significant protection against community-acquired pneumonia, although no evidence indicates that vaccination reduced the risk of confirmed pneumococcal pneumonia, which was a relatively rare event. Vaccination reduced the likelihood of a COPD exacerbation, and moderate-quality evidence suggests the benefits of pneumococcal vaccination in people with COPD. Evidence was insufficient for comparison of different pneumococcal vaccine types.