www.CiSurgeon.org - Information about Cochlear Implants.
Dr. Ravi N. Samy, MD, FACS

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued pneumococcal vaccination recommendations for adults with cochlear implants. These recommendations can be viewed in detail on the CDC website:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6140a4.htm

Because people with cochlear implants are at increased risk for pneumococcal meningitis, the CDC recommends that they receive pneumococcal vaccination on the same schedule that is recommended for other groups at increased risk for invasive pneumococcal disease. Recommendations for the timing and type of pneumococcal vaccination vary with age and vaccination history and should be discussed with a health care provider.

Currently, there are two vaccines which are given against pneumococcal vaccination. They are Prevnar 13 (PCV13) and Pneumovax (PPSV23). It is recommended that you receive the PCV13 first prior to surgery.

Adults age 19 and older who have NOT had any prior pneumococcal vaccination now need one dose of Prevnar 13 followed by a dose of Pneumovax 8 weeks later. Those 65 years and older will need a pneumovax booster.

Adults age 19 and older who have already received vaccination with pneumovax, now need vaccination with Prevnar 13 to be given one year or more after their pneumovax vaccination. Those 65 years and older will need a pneumovax booster.

If you are immunocompromised or 65 yrs and older the vaccination schedule could vary and you should consult your health care provider.

Additional Facts:

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.  There are two main types of meningitis, viral and bacterial.  Bacterial meningitis is the more serious type and the type that has been reported in individuals with cochlear implants.  The symptoms, treatment, and outcomes may differ depending on the cause of the meningitis.

Meningitis in individuals with cochlear implants is most commonly caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pneumonia (pneumococcus).  There is no evidence that people with cochlear implants are more likely to get meningococcal meningitis, caused by the bacterium Neisseriameningitides, than people without cochlear implants.  Therefore, there is no current recommendation to receive the meningococcal vaccine prior to implantation.