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Self-report of polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccination is not thought reliable because of the increased risk of adverse events from inadvertent re-vaccination in elderly people. Some studies suggest a high sensitivity of self-report and hence a low risk of adverse events if vaccination is administered when medical records are unavailable. Self-report of pneumococcal and influenza vaccination in a sample of >64-year-olds in the United Kingdom was compared with information in their medical records. Self-report of pneumococcal vaccination, in contrast to some of the other studies had a low sensitivity. The findings here support the need for accurate knowledge of prior vaccine status before offering the polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccine. The study also confirms that self-report of influenza vaccination could be relied upon if rapid knowledge of uptake is required.
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