Objective: An increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) has been reported in children with asthma before the introduction of pneumococcal vaccines (PVs). However, the evidence is limited after PV entered the routine immunization schedule. We aimed to investigate whether pediatric allergists recommend additional PV (aPV) to asthmatic children and if so whether there are any asthmaspecific risk factors they consider. We also wanted to determine any changes in their recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was e-mailed to all members of the Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Asthma in Turkey. The questionnaire was filled online and consisted of 14 questions.
Results: The questionnaire was e-mailed to 220 members. The response rate was 56.3% and 60.5% of PA recommended aPV. The most frequent asthma specific factors for aPV were severe asthma (70.2%), long term oral corticosteroid use (65.3%) and frequent exacerbations / hospitalizations (62.9%). COVID-19 pandemic increased the rate of questions asked to PA about aPV for asthmatic children compared to previous periods (75.8 vs 33.9%) (p<0.001) and %27 of PA changed their recommendations in favor of aPV during pandemic.
Conclusion: Asthmatic children is not infrequent. Severe asthma and related factors seem to be the leading reasons to recommend aPV for asthmatic children. The aPV recommendation by PA is increased during COVID-19 pandemic.