Pneumococcal Vaccination Among Lupus Patients: Who Are the Recipients?

J Clin Rheumatol. 2021 Dec 1;27(8):e456-e461. doi: 10.1097/RHU.0000000000001536.


Purpose: Pneumococcal vaccination (PV) is indicated for the elderly (age ≥65 years) and those with chronic disease or who are immunosuppressed. We aimed to study the rate and predictors of recommendation/receipt of 23 valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23) in immunosuppressed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients.

Methods: Data were obtained through self-report questionnaires and medical chart review of 150 SLE patients. Information on rheumatologist recommendation or receipt of PPSV23 in the preceding 5 years was collected if self-reported in a questionnaire or documented in the medical chart. Chart review was also done to collect data on patient demographics, physician characteristics (if patients had a primary care physician and rheumatologist's SLE patient volume), and the disease characteristics of SLE. Comparisons using χ2 or t tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted for predictors of recommendation/receipt of PV.

Results: The mean (SD) age was 47.4 (15.9) years; 90% were women. Sixty-five of 94 eligible patients for PV (based on immunosuppressive medications use or age) had been either recommended or administered PPSV23. On univariate logistic regression analysis, age, duration of disease, current use of hydroxychloroquine or mycophenolate, and rheumatologist's SLE patient volume were significant correlates of recommendation/receipt of PPSV23. However, on multivariate analysis, the only significant predictor was rheumatologist's SLE patient volume after adjusting for the above correlates such that with every 50 patients increase in SLE patient clinic volume, the odds of recommendation/receipt of PPSV23 increased by 2.37 times.

Conclusions: The volume of lupus patients that rheumatologists see is strongly associated with the likelihood that their SLE patients will have PPSV23 recommended and delivered, suggesting a volume outcome relationship.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Discoid*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic* / diagnosis
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumococcal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Pneumococcal Infections* / prevention & control
  • Vaccination