Which vaccines are effective in COPD

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Polyvalent pneumococcal vaccine is used in many countries to protect against the development of pneumococcal lung infections [15], but there is little evidence that it is specifically beneficial in patients with COPD, and it therefore cannot be routinely recommended.

Influenza vaccine is usually recommended, as patients with COPD are subject to severe exacerbations with this infection. Neuraminidase inhibitors, such as inhaled zanamivir or oral oseltamivir, are now becoming available for the treatment and prevention of influenza A and B infections [16]. However, it has not yet been shown that they specifically reduce the duration of exacerbations in patients with COPD, and they would only be of value during an influenza epidemic.

OM85-BV (Broncho-Vaxom) is a mixture of bacterial products that activate macrophage function (the advantage of which is obscure). There is some evidence that it may reduce the severity of acute exacerbations, but it cannot be recommended as a routine treatment [17].

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