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Aug 13, 2014 5:16 PM

Panel urges 2nd pneumonia shot for older adults

NEW YORK (AP) - A federal panel says older Americans should start getting a new vaccine against bacteria that cause pneumonia.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to recommend a dose of the expensive new shot for people 65 and older. The panel said older adults should still get an older pneumococcal vaccine, too.

The newer vaccine - Pfizer's Prevnar-13 - was licensed in 2011 and costs about $135 per dose. It already is recommended for infants and people with certain medical conditions.

One dose of an older vaccine - which targets a different lineup of bacteria - remained the standard for older adults. A Dutch study this year found Prevnar-13 prevented more pneumonia in the elderly.

Officials believe the new shot could prevent 5,000 illnesses a year.The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to recommend a dose of the expensive new shot for people 65 and older. The panel said older adults should still get an older pneumococcal vaccine, too.

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