Vaccination Models for COPD
All individuals with COPD are strongly recommended to receive certain adult
vaccinations that provide protection against conditions that may affect the lungs. While there is not a
vaccine for COPD specifically, vaccination against viral influenza and Streptococcus pneumonia provide
secondary prevention by preventing or minimizing the severity of COPD exacerbations caused by respiratory
infections. Flu and pneumonia can impair lung function, so individuals with COPD are at higher risk of
complications from those infections. People with COPD are more likely to develop pneumonia and other respiratory
diseases after a flu infection.
Influenza Vaccine. Individuals with COPD should receive the annual flu vaccination. Flu season typically lasts from October
to May, peaking from December to February. However, the flu can be transmitted at any time during the year.
Pneumococcal Vaccine. The two
pneumococcal vaccines, PCV13 and PPSV23, are recommended for all adults 65 years or older,
particularly those with chronic lung conditions like COPD. They are also specifically recommended for
younger individuals with COPD. These vaccines provide protection against various pneumococcal bacteria that
can cause pneumonia, among other conditions.
Examples of Vaccination Models
The Community Guide recommends client reminder and recall systems and provider
reminders as an effective intervention to increase vaccination rates in adults.
Experts have found the use of retail
clinics as a promising practice for increasing vaccination rates. While retail clinics may improve
access to care, additional evidence is needed.
Considerations for Implementation
Immunocompromised individuals may not be able to receive vaccinations because their immune systems might not be
able to adequately respond to the weakened antigens in the vaccine. Patients with comorbidities (like HIV/AIDS)
that affect their immune systems or older patients whose immune systems have weakened over time may not be
appropriate candidates for vaccinations.
Resources to Learn More
Adults with Chronic Conditions: Get
Describes vaccine-preventable diseases which adults with different chronic conditions are at higher risk of
acquiring and outlines adult vaccination recommendations.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Vaccines: What You Should Know
Downloadable handout for health professionals, patients, and the general public providing an overview of the
importance of vaccines for patients with COPD and identifying which vaccines are recommended.
Organization(s): National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH), Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention