PURPOSE: To study pneumococcal immunization coverage in older patients in hospital, and the impact of two actions aiming at improving this coverage.
METHODS: We reported a prospective and descriptive study conducted from November 2009 to August 2010, including all new patients ≥75 years old received in a geriatric short-stay department and residing in Val-de-Marne, France. This study was performed in three successive three-month periods, to assess the vaccination coverage in the months following hospital release. Period I was the reference; Period II included an awareness campaign of general practitioners relying on the hospitalization discharge report, containing an indication for the vaccination; Period III consisted in a systematic proposal of vaccination by the geriatric hospital department.
RESULTS: Indication for pneumococcal vaccination has been given to 139 patients (61.2%) in 227 processed questionnaires. The main indication was heart failure for 105 patients (75.5%). Twenty-four patients were already vaccinated (17.2%). No vaccination was reported in the three months following period I in 33 included patients. The awareness campaign targeting regular doctors resulted in only one vaccination out of 37 patients. Immunization coverage in the department had reached 84.5% of inoculation (38 of 45 patients).
CONCLUSION: Pneumococcal vaccination is often prescribed in elderly patients but generally not executed. The awareness campaign did not result in a big enough immunization coverage improvement, compared to a codified proposal of vaccination during hospital stay.