For people with COPD, all vaccines for the general population are recommended. Above all, 5 vaccines are important. Those against influenza and Covid are basic, to which is added the anti-pneumococcal one, which is also fundamental: today it has a 20-valent formulation, is done only once, is very well tolerated, has no side effects and is highly effective. The other two recommended vaccines are the one against the respiratory syncytial virus – which has shown with robust data to reduce infections of the upper and lower respiratory tract, even serious ones – and the one against Herpes zoster.
It must be remembered that in patients with COPD, a viral respiratory tract infection can be lethal, as can pneumonia, especially in the most serious cases, because it can trigger respiratory failure which can lead to intubation and resuscitation.
*Pierachille Santus is Professor of Respiratory Diseases at the State University of Milan and Director of the Complex Operational Unit of Pneumology – Luigi Sacco Hospital